PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Orbus Therapeutics Inc., a private, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies that treat rare diseases, today announced the completion of a $32.5 million Series A financing. The funding will enable Orbus Therapeutics to conduct a Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating its promising therapeutic product candidate, eflornithine.
The Series A financing was led by Longitude Capital, H.I.G. BioVentures and Adams Street Partners. Dr. Ernest Mario also participated in the financing and has accepted the position of Chairman of the Board. Dr. Mario is currently Chairman of Capnia, Inc. and Chimerix, Inc., and was formerly Deputy Chairman of Glaxo Holdings plc, and Chairman and CEO of ALZA Corporation.
"We are pleased with the support of our high-quality investors, and we are now well-positioned to fund our operations through the pivotal Phase 3 trial in patients with recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma," said Bob Myers, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Orbus Therapeutics. "We look forward to collaborating with the country's leading brain cancer treatment centers to evaluate this innovative new treatment, which we hope will improve the survival of these patients."
"The Orbus management team has a successful track record building new businesses, developing and commercializing innovative products, and delivering value to shareholders, and we are excited to be backing their new venture," said Patrick Enright, Managing Director of Longitude Capital. "The Orbus co-founders are well known to us from our investment in Jazz Pharmaceuticals, where they had key leadership roles. The investor syndicate is excited to fund this late-stage compound with encouraging efficacy data in patients with a rare and deadly disease."
About Eflornithine Clinical Results
In controlled, randomized and single arm clinical studies, eflornithine has shown an increase in overall survival (OS) of patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma.
In these clinical trials, the primary and reversible side effects seen from eflornithine therapy in a small percentage of patients were diarrhea and hearing loss. None of the patients discontinued therapy due to side effects.
The Company received Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) for eflornithine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014. A drug may receive BTD if it is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease, and preliminary clinical evidence suggests that it provides a substantial improvement over existing therapies.
About Anaplastic Glioma (AG)
In the United States, approximately 3,600 new cases of anaplastic glioma (AG) are diagnosed each year with a median survival of just over three years despite treatment with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The prevalence of AG in the United States is estimated to be approximately 20,000 people.
Anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) is the largest subset of AG, and represents approximately 75 percent of AG patients. There are approximately 2,500 new AA cases diagnosed in the United States each year.
About Orbus Therapeutics
Orbus Therapeutics Inc., a private, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company is dedicated to developing products that treat rare diseases for which there are few, if any, effective therapies.
The Company's product candidate in clinical development is eflornithine. Eflornithine is a novel cytostatic agent, which the Company is developing to treat patients with recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma (rAA), a rare form of central nervous system cancer. Eflornithine irreversibly inhibits ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), a key enzyme in mammalian polyamine biosynthesis that is up-regulated in certain types of cancer. For more information, please visit the Company's website at http://www.orbustherapeutics.com