RARE Daily

Mereo BioPharma Completes $70 Million Private Placement

June 4, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Mereo BioPharma completed a $70 million private placement to advance development of its next generation checkpoint inhibitor and its pipeline of experimental rare disease therapies.

OrbiMed led the Fundraising with participants including Vivo Capital, Surveyor Capital, Pontifax Venture Capital, Samsara BioCapital, Commodore Capital, and funds managed by Janus Henderson Investors alongside existing investors Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group and Aspire Capital Fund.

Concurrent with the financing, Mereo said it plans to advance its lead anti-cancer compound etigilimab into a phase 1b study in the fourth quarter of 2020 alongside progressing its rare disease product portfolio.

Etigilimab is an antibody against TIGIT (T-cell immunoreceptor with Ig and ITIM domains), a next generation checkpoint receptor shown to block T-cell activation and the body’s natural anti-cancer immune response. Etigilimab is an IgG1 monoclonal antibody that binds to the human TIGIT receptor on immune cells with a goal of improving the activation and effectiveness of T-cell and NK cell anti-tumor activity. Mereo completed a phase1a dose escalation clinical trial with etigilimab in patients with advanced solid tumors and has enrolled patients in a phase 1b study in combination with nivolumab in selected tumor types.

Mereo’s rare disease pipeline includes setrusumab, which has completed a phase 2b dose-ranging study in adults with osteogenesis imperfecta, a group of autosomal genetic disorders that cause bones to break easily, often from mild trauma or with no apparent cause; and alvelestat, which is being investigated in a phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial in patients with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, an autosomal disorder that can cause lung disease in adults and liver disease in adults and children.

Mereo plans to complete a strategic partnership for setrusumab prior to initiation of a pivotal phase 3 study, and to complete the ongoing phase 2 study of alvelestat, with topline data currently expected in the second half of 2021.

“We look forward to progressing etigilimab, setrusumab, and alvelestat further and believe this fundraising leaves Mereo extremely well placed to progress on our strategy,” said Denise Scots-Knight, CEO of Mereo.

Photo: Denise Scots-Knight, CEO of Mereo


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