RARE Daily

Protagonist Raises $132 Million to Advance Rare Blood Cancer Therapy

June 22, 2021

Protagonist Therapeutics, a company focused on hematological diseases and inflammatory disorders, raised $132.2 million in an underwritten public offering of 3.5 million shares of its common stock priced at $37.75 per share, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses.

The capital raise will support continued development of the company’s lead experimental therapy rusfertide for the treatment of polycythemia vera (PV), a rare myeloproliferative disease characterized by the excessive production of red blood cells.

Rusfertide is an injectable synthetic peptide mimetic of the natural hormone hepcidin that is being studied in a phase 2 trial to reduce erythrocytosis in those PV patients who do not require further treatment for thrombocytosis and/or leukocytosis.

In early June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to rusfertide, supported in part by promising data from the ongoing phase 2 clinical trial in which the data showed that when treated with rusfertide, a majority of patients were able to eliminate therapeutic phlebotomies, maintain a target hematocrit level of less than 45 percent, reverse iron deficiency, and experience symptom improvements.

The FDA has previously granted orphan drug status and Fast Track designation to rusfertide in PV.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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