Chase, after selling last biotech to Allergan, gets cash to start pivotal trials in depression, Parkinson's 

Chinalink Asia Holdings led a series B round in Chase Therapeutics. (Pepi Stojanovski/Unsplash)

Chase Therapeutics is heading into pivotal trials. Armed with $20 million, the biotech plans to start phase 3 clinical trials of candidates based on an old Boehringer Ingelheim drug in major depressive disorder (MDD) and Parkinson’s disease.

The milestone-based series B round will support work on CTC-501 and CTC-413. In ClinicalTrials.gov filings, Chase lists CTC-501 and CTC-413 as, respectively, immediate- and extended-release forms of pramipexole. The active ingredient was discovered by Boehringer Ingelheim, which partnered with Pharmacia, now Pfizer, and brought immediate- and extended-release formulations to market under the brand-name Mirapex for the treatment of symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Generic manufacturers have received FDA approvals for copies of both versions of Mirapex, but Chase still sees reasons to invest in candidates based on pramipexole. Chase began phase 2 clinical trials in Parkinsonian type disorders and MDD, an indication in which Mirapex never won approval, in 2018.

“CTC-501 clinical studies to date suggest the drug is well-tolerated, and rapidly provides symptomatic relief in those suffering from MDD,” Chase CEO Thomas Chase said in a statement. “Clinical results for CTC-413 in a proof-of-concept trial in Parkinson patients were encouraging, with effective symptom mitigation along with favorable indications of its neuroprotective potential.” 

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Chinalink Asia Holdings led the series B round, adding to earlier contributions from the Brain Trust Accelerator Fund, Rise of the Rest Fund and Makana Holdings. Chase said the money will enable it to start pivotal trials of CTC-501, CTC-413 and a Parkinson’s diagnostic. 

The series B gives CEO Chase a chance to follow up on the exit of his previous eponymous biotech. In 2016, Allergan paid $125 million to buy Chase Pharmaceuticals, a company Chase co-founded and at which he served as chief scientific officer. The deal gave Allergan control of a combination of donepezil, the active ingredient in Aricept, and solifenacin that was on the cusp of phase 3.