Healthcare Industry News: Novo Nordisk
News Release - August 4, 2006
Reata Announces Closing of $22.6 Million FinancingFinancing Will Permit Reata to Advance Promising Anticancer Drugs to Advanced Clinical Development
DALLAS, Aug. 4 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Reata") today announced the closing of a $22.6 million private financing round. The financing round was led by Cardinal Investment Company. New investors in the round included Novo A/S, a Copenhagen-based life science investment fund.
"We are very pleased to have closed this recent financing round, which will allow Reata to continue to advance its development programs," said Warren Huff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Reata. "We are delighted by the continued commitment of Reata's previous investors, which reflects the significant progress the company has made and the potential of our drug portfolio. We are also very happy to welcome Novo A/S to our investor group. Their experience in life sciences investing makes them a highly valued addition."
Jack Nielsen, a Partner with Novo A/S has joined Reata's Board of Directors. Mr. Nielsen joined Novo in 2001 and currently serves on the board of directors for several other biotechnology companies. Prior to this, he held various management positions within Novo Nordisk. "We are excited about the unusually broad pipeline of unique and promising compounds within Reata, as well as management's ability to execute and drive multiple programs into clinical trials," said Jack Nielsen. "Reata holds the promise of maturing into a strong independent biotech company with important products to fight cancer and inflammatory diseases."
Since its founding in September 2002, Reata has advanced three drugs through preclinical development and into Phase 1 clinical trials. RTA 744, a novel anthracycline that penetrates the blood-brain-barrier, is in a Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of primary brain cancer. Based on exceptional phase 1 results to date, the company is planning to initiate advanced clinical trials of the drug in patients with primary brain cancer in 2007. Reata plans to begin clinical studies of RTA 744 in patients with other forms of brain cancer, including metastases to the brain arising from breast and lung cancer, in late 2006.
Reata is also conducting Phase 1 clinical trials of RTA 401 and 402, the lead compounds from a new class of synthetic triterpenoids. These compounds selectively induce apoptosis (programmed cell death in cancer cells) and inhibit inflammatory processes that are critical for the survival and growth of tumors. They are also potent inducers of protective mechanisms that prevent oxidative damage, inflammation and carcinogenesis in normal tissue. Intensive research by Reata and its collaborators in rigorous in vivo models of human cancer has demonstrated that these potent anti-cancer agents have a unique profile of activity. They inhibit growth (and cause regression) of tumors as single agents and in combination with radiation and chemotherapy. Remarkably, they also suppress radiation and chemotherapy-induced damage (e.g., oral mucositis) in normal tissues. This combination of potent anti- cancer effects and protective effects in non-cancerous tissue is highly unusual and, if confirmed in clinical studies, would afford the Reata synthetic triterpenoids a unique and highly valuable position in the clinical treatment of cancer. RTA 402 has also shown significant activity in models of rheumatoid arthritis, confirming the potential of these drugs as treatments for a variety of inflammatory diseases.
Capital raised in the current financing round will be used to (i) initiate advanced clinical studies with RTA 744, (ii) conduct additional Phase 2 studies with RTA 401/402, (iii) develop commercially viable manufacturing processes and formulations for Reata's advanced drug candidates, and (iv) identify small molecule chaperones that can induce proper folding of p53, SOD, and Tau, misfolded proteins that are involved in cancer and neurodegenerative disease.
Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel treatments for cancer, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. Founded in 2002, Reata is developing five distinct classes of cancer drugs licensed from leading academic institutions. The company has three drugs in Phase 1 clinical development: RTA 744 for primary brain cancers; RTA 401 for leukemias and solid tumors; and RTA 402 for solid tumors and lymphoid malignancies. Reata is matching its clinical and preclinical drug development programs with a best-of-class drug discovery platform to identify small molecule chaperones that can induce proper folding of p53, SOD, and Tau, misfolded proteins that are involved in cancer and neurodegenerative disease.
Source: Reata Pharmaceuticals
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