iPierian, a biotechnology company developing novel therapies for neurodegenerative disease, has secured financing of $30 million to continue to advance its drug development in neurodegenerative disease and to launch a spin-out company, True North Therapeutics.
iPierian's two monoclonal antibody R&D programs, targeting the Tau protein and the Complement pathway, each has produced a lead antibody drug candidate and represent distinct therapeutic opportunities to form the basis of separate companies. iPierian will focus on Tau drug development for the treatment of tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease; True North Therapeutics will focus on Complement pathway drug development for autoantibody-driven rare diseases.
For iPierian, proceeds of the financing will be used to accelerate the clinical development program for IPN007, a monoclonal antibody targeting the Tau protein for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies (e.g. progressive supranuclear palsy, frontotemporal dementia). iPierian selected IPN007 based on novel secreted Tau discoveries made using its induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platform. Based on iPierian's strong in vitro and in vivo preclinical data and achievements in developing the IPN007 humanized antibody, the company plans to file an IND application with the FDA in 2014.
For True North Therapeutics, the Series A financing will be used to advance its lead drug candidate TNT009, a first-in-class monoclonal antibody that selectively inhibits a target of the Classical Complement pathway, into clinical trials. The company has completed preclinical studies with TNT009 showing ex vivo efficacy and is focused on Complement-mediated rare diseases in the hematologic, renal and neurological therapeutic areas.
"Given recent positive developments with promising drug candidates, we believe that creating two companies, iPierian and True North, opens up a wider range of possibilities for partnering discussions, allows each company to explore new indications and pipeline opportunities and optimizes the value to shareholders and patients with the assets built through the scientific legacy of iPierian," said Jim Scopa, managing director at MPM Capital.
Nancy Stagliano, Ph.D., will be chief executive officer of both iPierian and True North Therapeutics. As part of the financing, Rajeev Dadoo from SR One will obtain a seat on the board of directors for both companies.
"With such strong investor support, iPierian and True North are each poised to advance novel monoclonal antibody therapeutics into the clinic with IND filings in the next 12 to 18 months," said Stagliano.