VectivBio AG, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing transformational medicines for patients with serious rare diseases, today announced it has closed a $110 million crossover financing from new investors Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Cormorant Capital and Eventide Asset Management, with participation from existing investors Versant Ventures, OrbiMed, Novo Holdings, BPI France, Tekla Healthcare Investors, Inserm Transfer Initiative and Cowen Healthcare Investments.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to support the Phase III program of VectivBio’s lead investigational product, apraglutide, to treat short bowel syndrome (SBS), early commercialization activities and further development of the pipeline through business development initiatives. Phase II studies of apraglutide demonstrated the potential for once-weekly dosing.
“We are excited by the addition of these accomplished crossover investors to our syndicate of top-tier investors,” said Luca Santarelli, M.D., chief executive officer of VectivBio. “We look forward to continuing to advance apraglutide and to preparing our organization to bring a potential best-in-class therapy to people living with SBS.”
“We have worked with Luca from the beginning and are excited about the progress we’re making into VectivBio’s next chapter,” said Tom Woiwode, Ph.D., managing director at Versant Ventures and chairman of the board of directors at VectivBio. “We are very pleased to have such a strong syndicate supporting us through the company’s next phase of growth.”
About Short Bowel Syndrome
Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) results from extensive intestinal resection due to chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), acute events such as trauma, mesenteric infarction, bariatric surgery or congenital abnormalities. Symptoms of SBS include diarrhea, dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss. To survive, patients with severe forms of SBS require parenteral support (PS), the intravenous delivery of essential nutrients, calories and fluids. For some patients, PS must be delivered for 10 to 15 hours per day, a significant burden that severely diminishes quality of life. In addition, people receiving chronic PS are predisposed to increased rates of liver disease, a condition known as intestinal failure-associated liver disease, and to an increased risk of infections due to the chronic presence of an infusion port positioned in a central vein. When administered in combination with PS, GLP-2 analogs can be used to increase the intestine’s ability to absorb fluids and nutrients taken orally. Depending on the SBS anatomical subtype, patients may display varying degrees of response to GLP-2 treatment, requiring patient-specific monitoring and PS adaptation across the SBS anatomical spectrum. An estimated 35,000 people are thought to suffer from SBS in the U.S. and Europe, of whom 15,000 require lifelong PS and may thus be candidates for treatment with GLP-2 analogs.
Apraglutide is intended to increase the intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients and minimize the burden of parenteral support, thereby improving patients’ quality of life and their ability to thrive. It is a next-generation, GLP-2 analog, rationally designed to achieve an extended half-life with a synthetic manufacturing process. Apraglutide has successfully completed Phase II studies and is expected to begin Phase III in the near future. Based on preclinical and clinical data to date, apraglutide has the potential to be a best-in-class treatment for SBS, with once-weekly dosing and the potential to address the needs of patients across the anatomical disease spectrum that characterizes the disease.