Weeks out from an $80M launch, a pain and CNS startup is back with a fresh raise. Can an IPO be far behind?
Not two months after launching out of RA Capital’s incubator, Eliem Therapeutics is returning to the firm — and others — to raise another heap of cash. And this time, an IPO could potentially be in the works.
Eliem has put together a $60 million Series B round co-led by RA Capital as it seeks to further advance two lead clinical candidates across four trials. The biotech declined an interview and further declined to comment on an emailed question regarding financing plans, suggesting they may be hunkering down in preparation for an S-1 filing with the SEC.
Though the Series B proved to be smaller than the $80 million launch round in March, Eliem has announced $140 million in funds between the 60-day span of the two announcements.
Eliem spawned out of conversations from RA managing director Andrew Levin and longtime pain researcher Valerie Morisset, who had recently retired from biotech to start a new chapter in the VC world. Discussions revolved around the prodrug of an endocannabinoid known as palmitoylethanolamide, or PEA, and after initial skepticism Morisset agreed to hop on board as president and CSO.
The prodrug, dubbed ETX-810, is the lead program in a pipeline of four neuro assets Eliem eventually hopes to bring to patients. It’s part of a family of endocannabinoid hopefuls that have thus far come up short for Big Pharmas looking to invest in the area. Part of what drew Morisset to the company, she told Endpoints News in March, was the sheer amount of clinical literature showing how PEA could be used for chronic pain conditions.
They’re hopeful that the prodrug approach can lead to better results. ETX-810 is currently in two Phase IIa studies looking at diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain and lumbosacral radicular pain, and Eliem is now putting timetables on the data readouts for the first half of 2022.
In addition to the pain-related indications, however, Eliem is also working on a host of other CNS candidates. Next up behind ETX-810 is a GABA-positive allosteric modulator, also from RA Capital, which the company is calling ETX-155. Eliem plans to take this program into two Phase IIa studies for major depressive disorder and hormone-related depressive disorders, as well as a Phase Ib trial for epilepsy.
Data here are expected in the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023, respectively.
Further down the pipeline are two preclinical programs: a Kv7.⅔ channel opener discovered in-house, where Eliem hopes to go into pain and epilepsy, and another early-stage research program potentially for generalized anxiety and depression.
Intermediate Capital Group co-led the round with RA Capital. Other investors included Access Biotechnology, Samlyn Capital, Acorn Bioventures and LifeArc.