Catabasis lands $14.5M tranche for Omega-3 drug development

With a lead drug headed into the clinic next year, Cambridge, MA-based Catabasis Pharmaceuticals has snared a $14.5 million tranche of its Series A round. Catabasis is one of a handful of biotechs that hopes to use Omega-3 fatty acids to create new therapies and its lead drug is targeting Type 2 diabetes.

"Currently, there are no drugs on the market for Type 2 diabetes that are directed at inflammation," said Michael Ross, the managing partner at SV Life Sciences and newly named chairman of Catabasis. "Catabasis' candidate has the potential to be disease-modifying and targets a root cause of diabetes and insulin resistance. I look forward to working closely with the team as they continue to execute on their business strategy." SV Life Sciences, Clarus Ventures, MedImmune Ventures and Advanced Technology Ventures contributed to the Series A.

"These funds will allow us to complete a Phase 1 study for our Type 2 diabetes compound and continue to develop our pipeline," said Jill Milne, co-founder and chief executive officer of Catabasis.

Catabasis is one of a small group of developers with the technology capable of competing with GlaxoSmithKline's blockbuster Lovaza, currently the only FDA approved drug that relies heavily on Omega-3 to fight high levels of triglycerides, blood fat that can trigger serious cardiovascular problems. Amarin recently touted results from AMR101 and Resolvyx also is doing research work in the field.

- check out the Catabasis release

ALSO: San Francisco-based Sequenta landed $13 million in its second round. The molecular diagnostics company is working on the development and commercialization of molecular diagnostic assays based on a proprietary sequencing approach to the profiling T and B cell receptor repertoires. "Current technologies for monitoring the immune system cannot distinguish between the total level of immune activity and the specific immune activity. Today, balancing the amount of therapy at any given time is an art rather than a science due to the lack of specific molecular tools," explained Rowan Chapman, a Sequenta board member and Mohr Davidow partner. The Series B round was led by a consortium including venture funds Index Ventures and Series A investor Mohr Davidow Ventures, and other individual investors including Jacob Goldfield. Release