RARE Daily

Inversago Pharma Raises $35 Million to Fund CB1-based Pipeline

September 8, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Canadian biotech Inversago Pharma secured $35 million (CDN$47 million) in a series B financing round, which will be used to develop its lead candidate INV-101 for the rare condition Prader-Willi syndrome, as well as NASH.

Forbion led the round with co-investment from the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and strong participation from existing investors Genesys, JDRF T1D Fund, Amorchem, Anges Québec Capital, adMare BioInnovations, as well as angels.

INV-101 is a peripherally-acting CB1 inverse agonist. Clinical and scientific data suggest that the peripheral CB1 pathway is activated in a majority of metabolic and fibrotic diseases, including Prader-Willi syndrome, a complex, rare genetic condition affects many parts of the body and is characterized by low muscle tone, feeding difficulties, slow growth and obesity.

“Today’s financing is a recognition of the progress achieved over the past two years by our team,” said François Ravenelle, CEO and founder of Inversago Pharma. “It allows the company to make important strides towards its objective of leveraging the full medical potential of a peripheral CB1 blockade.”

In conjunction with this financing, Inversago appointed Carlo Incerti, operating partner at Forbion, as chairman of the board of directors, and Marco Boorsma, general partner at Forbion, and Patricia Allen, a biotech leader, as directors of the company.

“The science behind the CB1 pathway is extremely sound and documented and Inversago’s compounds could be very impactful in therapeutic areas that are largely unmet, like metabolic dysfunctions and fibrosis,” said Incerti. “Importantly, the peripherally-acting nature of these molecules could give them a safe and effective therapeutic window, without the known liabilities of centrally-acting blockers.”

Incerti has more than three decades of development and commercialization experience in the biopharmaceutical industry that includes senior vice president, chief medical officer and head of Global Medical Affairs at Sanofi Genzyme.

Boorsma has more than 20 years of scientific, operational, business development, and venture investment expertise. He manages Forbion’s Canadian investments and serves on the boards of several other bio-pharmaceutical companies.

Allen is a recognized biotech finance and operations leader who raised more than $2 billion in financings and business development deals during her career. She served most recently as chief fnancial officer at Zafgen, now Larimar Therapeutics.

Photo: François Ravenelle, CEO and founder of Inversago Pharma

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