French biotech Inventiva has raised about $44 million dollars from a group of venture backers lured by the potential of an upcoming late-stage effort on NASH. And one of those backers, Paris-based Sofinnova Partners, is funding the company out of a brand new crossover fund that launched about a week ago with $340 million.
The biotech’s pipeline is topped by lanifibranor (IVA337), designed to spur three PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) isoforms — α, δ and γ — in fighting NASH. It’s also being advanced for systemic sclerosis, a rare disease which triggers progressive organ failure.
Incidence of NASH has been growing at an epidemic rate around the globe, raising the disease as a major market opportunity for top players like Gilead and Intercept. Inventiva is one of a host of biotechs which hopes to find a piece of the action for themselves. The biotech plans to release its Phase IIb data next year.
The biotech plans to spend €16 million of the new raise on Phase III prep work on the lead drug, €12 million for their drug odiparcil — which it is pitching as potentially the first orally available substrate reduction therapy for MPS VI patients — and another €3.5 million on discovery efforts. The rest goes for corporate overhead.
Sofinnova Crossover I has taken €10 million of the round, joining BVF Partners and Novo. Sofinnova announced a few days ago that it had gathered the crossover fund to focus on a group of about 15 late-stage companies.
“Inventiva has the potential to become a global leader in NASH, systemic sclerosis and MPS, diseases with significant unmet need,” said Sofinnova’s Jacques Theurillat. “In addition, Inventiva is an excellent fit with Sofinnova’s strategy of investing in innovative products and experienced management.”
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