RARE Daily

Merger Creates 9 Meters Biopharma with $22 Million in Funding for Rare GI Diseases

May 1, 2020

The merger of public biotech Innovate Biopharmaceuticals with private biotech RDD Pharma has created 9 Meters Biopharma, which will focus on the development of therapies for rare diseases and unmet needs in gastrointestinal diseases.

Concurrent with the merger, 9 Meters has raised $22 million from Orbimed Advisors in a stock and warrant offering, and will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker NMTR.

The deal closed just months after Israeli-based RDD merged with Naia Rare Diseases, a company developing a proprietary long acting GLP-1 for the treatment of short bowel syndrome. The merged company will have two late-stage lead assets funded to their next key inflection points, which include the initiation of a phase 2 trial in short bowel syndrome in the second half of 2020 with top-line results expected in 2021, and the receipt of top-line results for an ongoing phase 3 trial in celiac disease in 2021.

“9 Meters Biopharma plans to deliver meaningful science and treatments for patients and providers that will translate into multiple inflection points for investors. This includes a novel approach with the first and only long-acting GLP-1 receptor agonist for the treatment of short bowel syndrome, and the first-ever drug in a phase 3 trial for celiac disease,” said John Temperato, president and CEO of 9 Meters.

Short bowel syndrome (SDS) occurs due to the physical loss or the loss of function of a portion of the small and/or large intestine, which leads to a reduced ability to absorb nutrients. The specific symptoms and severity of SDS vary and include diarrhea that is often severe and can cause life-threatening dehydration, malnutrition, unintended weight loss, and additional symptoms may be due to the loss of essential vitamins and minerals. There is no cure, but the disorder usually can be treated effectively. However, in some cases, short bowel syndrome can lead to severe, disabling and life-threatening complications. While SDS is most commonly associated with the surgical removal of half or more of the small intestine, in rare cases it can be caused by congenital birth defects.

“People living with short bowel syndrome have unmet motility needs and this long-acting GLP-1 agonist is one of the only compounds in development to directly address these by potentially allowing for elimination of parenteral nutrition and an improvement in quality of life,” said Mark Pimentel, director of the Gastrointestinal Motility program and laboratory, and executive director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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