Pronutria, a company a discovery engine and pipeline of pharmaconutrient products, has announced the beginning of two clinical trials evaluating its lead ProNutrein product candidates. The company is utilizing its ProNutrein discovery platform to identify and develop protein pharmaconutrients, protein nutrients identified in food with beneficial impact in many areas of human health, including muscle, metabolic and gastrointestinal health. Pronutria also announced the closing of a $12.25 million financing that will fund the advancement of the ProNutrein pipeline as well as the development of additional candidates as medical foods and supplements, and in a separate business unit, as therapeutics.
Pronutria's two clinical studies are evaluating its lead ProNutrein candidates for beneficial effects on muscle and metabolism in age appropriate healthy volunteers. In relevant preclinical models of muscle growth and thermogenesis, these candidates have demonstrated substantial efficacy. Pronutria is evaluating these lead programs for development as nutritional supplements and medical foods, and is building off published, positive clinical amino acid data. The company expects to complete these trials by the end of the second quarter of 2014.
"These trials demonstrate our unique ability to advance multiple lead ProNutrein candidates from product conception to human data in multiple indications in less than a year in a highly capital efficient manner," said Robert Connelly, CEO of Pronutria. "Pronutria's understanding of amino acid pharmacology has positioned us to rapidly build a pipeline of orally administered protein products that can have life changing benefits for millions."
Pronutria was founded in 2011 by Flagship VentureLabs, the innovation foundry of Flagship Ventures. The $12.25 million Series B financing was led by Flagship and includes private investors. Pronutria expects to fund its activities through a combination of partnerships and investment. The company has raised $23 million to date.
"Pronutria has very effectively converted its unique vision into reality with multiple clinical candidates," said Dr. Noubar Afeyan, chairman of Pronutria and managing partner and CEO of Flagship Ventures. "The company has hit an important inflection point with a validated platform where it will rapidly advance its candidates in important medical areas initially as medical foods and dietary supplements and eventually as therapeutics."
Pronutria is unlocking the untapped potential of the individual proteins in the human diet to impact human health. The company's ProNutrein platform delivers single proteins orally that, through the normal digestive process, release specific combinations of amino acids. Over 40 years of clinical trial work has validated the impact of specific amino acids on a range of important conditions including muscle loss, metabolic disease and rare genetic diseases. Delivering these validated amino acid combinations in protein form couples the clinical benefit with physiochemical and pharmacokinetic control.