Upstart sets off on a clinical journey, looking to make a name for its 2nd-gen CB1 blockers
A small Montreal-based biotech out to make a name for itself as a second-gen developer of CB1 receptor blockers has successfully gathered $35 million for the next stage of the development odyssey it’s on.
The money, which comes from a high-profile group of transatlantic investors, will be used to pay for the first clinical forays of Inversago’s lead drug. And the biotech has a long list of high-profile targets in mind, starting with Prader-Willi syndrome and running through NASH, type 1 diabetes and diabetic nephropathy.
Building off of work done by George Kunos at the National Institute of Health, the biotech believes it has the inside track on getting around the CNS adverse events that blighted the first tries with this cannabinoid receptor. Big Pharma’s early tries here were scuttled by safety issues triggered by a centrally-acting process. Inversago’s team is working with a peripherally acting approach.
“This is an exciting time for Inversago as we launch operations and pioneer the comeback of CB1 inverse agonists,” announced Inversago CEO François Ravenelle. “CB1 blockade has already demonstrated much promise, and we are confident we have the right technology to exploit their full potential, starting with important unmet needs.”
Forbion led the round, with co-investments from the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and a group of existing investors including Genesys, JDRF T1D Fund, Amorchem, Anges Québec Capital, adMare BioInnovations and angels.