Offering another example of just how expensive it is for a biotech company to develop a new diabetes therapy, Intarcia Therapeutics this morning unveiled a whopping $210 million in fresh financing to back its Phase III program for ITCA 650, which aims to be the first once-yearly, injection-free GLP-1 therapy. And the biotech says it will join the big migration to the thriving Boston hub, relocating its headquarters in California while keeping a manufacturing site in Hayward.
Boasting of the biggest biotech raise in 25 years, Intarcia netted $160 million in venture cash from New Enterprise Associates, New Leaf Venture Partners and Venrock, as well as new investors at The Baupost Group, Farallon Capital Management, and three additional institutional investors. Another $50 million was raised through a private debt placement.
Those investors believe that Intarcia's ITCA 650 can go all the way, evidently without the kind of Big Pharma partner that is typically required in diabetes. The therapy employs a matchstick-sized osmotic pump which is inserted under the skin and delivers a steady dose of a novel form of exenatide. Intarcia, a 2007 Fierce 15 company, has garnered positive Phase II data in a 48-week study.
"After considering multiple options to maximize shareholder value and scaling up for our ITCA 650 Phase 3 program, we chose to align with this elite group of investors who not only shares our vision for ITCA 650 in the diabetes marketplace, but has also expressed its confidence in our ability to shepherd ITCA 650 successfully through clinical trial development and to strike the collaborations needed to make ITCA 650 a global market success," says Intarcia CEO Kurt Graves.
- here's the press release
Special Report: Intarcia Therapeutics - 2007 Fierce 15 | Top diabetes drug pipelines of 2012