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Promedior lands $21.5M D round for fibrosis pipeline

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Right on schedule, Malvern, PA-based Promedior has landed a $21.5 million D round to advance its lead drug for a rare fibrotic ailment. Fibrotic Ventures, a new investor, led the round, with help from Morgenthaler Ventures, HealthCare Ventures, Polaris Venture Partners, Forbion Capital Partners and Easton Capital. And coinciding with their new injection of cash, the FDA has extended orphan drug status for their lead program.

Back in 2010 CEO Dominick C. Colangelo told FierceBiotech he had bought himself a two-year runway with the Series C round. The lead drug, PRM-151, is now in a Phase Ib study for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The new cash will fuel a Phase II study for myelofibrosis and there's a mid-stage study underway for glaucoma surgery. The new financing will also accelerate its lead drug candidate for ophthalmic indications, PRM-167 (rhPTX-2 variant for intravitreal injection), into clinical development for fibrovascular retinal diseases--such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and proliferative vitreoretinopathy.

"It worked out great," says Colangelo in an update with FierceBiotech. "We're pleased to close this Series D. We think it validates our scientific platform and our progress and the therapeutic potential. We have evolved over the past two years." The evolution, though, has come without any new full-timers on the payroll. Promedior had a lean staff of 12 two years ago, and that remains unchanged.

What has changed over the past year is the environment for biotechs focused on fibrosis. Stromedix, helmed by Michael Gilman, was recently bought out by Biogen Idec ($BIIB). And Bob Baltera's Amira was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) last summer. Amira fetched $350 million upfront and milestones of $125 million; Stromedix went for $75 million upfront and $487.5 million in milestones. Both valuations--strong deals for investors considering the amount of time and cash they had in the companies--underscored the value of new drugs in the fibrotics pipeline, says Colangelo, which should help ongoing partnership talks.

The gameplan now is to have proof of concept data next year, says the CEO. And depending on what happens on the business development front, they have enough cash on hand to operate until at least the second half of next year.

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