Pharma Two B raises $30M for Parkinson's phase 3 from Biogen-backed fund, adds ex-Pfizer CEO to board

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Pharma Two B will run a phase 3 of its pramipexole-rasagiline fixed-dose combination P2B001.

Pharma Two B has raised $30 million (€28 million) to complete a phase 3 trial of its Parkinson’s asset P2B001. The round provides a hint of the impact of the recently founded Israel Biotech Fund (IBF), which led the investment and is adding ex-Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler to Pharma Two B’s board.

Rehovot, Israel-based Pharma Two B last raised money in 2012 when it put together an $8 million round to take its pramipexole-rasagiline fixed-dose combination P2B001 through a phase 2b. The trial linked the sustained-released formulation to statistically significant improvements in scores on a Parkinson’s scale. Buoyed by those data and the interest of IBF, Pharma Two B has ratcheted up its financing ambitions and broadened its investor base.

“The presence of IBF in the Israeli biotech space is something we have all been waiting for,” Pharma Two B Chairman Ehud Marom said in a statement. “Their rigorous scientific and clinical due diligence and deep networking capabilities present a significant contribution to the investment landscape in Israel.”

Pharma Two B credits IBF with identifying it, leading the due diligence and syndicating with investors including aMoon and JVC to get the deal done.

The fund made waves last year when it emerged with $100 million from backers including Biogen and a list of venture advisers dotted with big names, including Kindler and former Celgene CEO Sol Barer, Ph.D. IBF is now starting to put its money and connections to work. Pharma Two B is IBF’s second investment after Vidac Pharma.

IBF backed Pharma Two B on the strength of P2B001. The candidate combines low doses of the dopamine agonist pramipexole and the monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor rasagiline in an attempt to trigger better safety and efficacy outcomes than either of the approved drugs can achieve as a monotherapy. Pharma Two B’s approach is underpinned by a belief that the drugs have complementary mechanisms of action.

The $30 million will enable Pharma Two B to test this idea in a phase 3, while leaving enough spare cash to expand its pipeline. Pharma Two B currently has three fixed-dose combinations aimed at cancers in preclinical development.