Civitas Therapeutics Secures $20 Million Series A Financing
Lead program for treatment of Parkinson's disease
Chelsea, MA - January xx, 2011 - Civitas Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative pulmonary delivery therapies, announced today that it has secured a $20 million Series A financing from founding investor, Longitude Capital, along with co-lead Canaan Partners. The proceeds of the financing will be primarily used to advance Civitas' lead program for treating patients with Parkinson's disease through clinical proof-of-concept. The company is a spin-out of Alkermes, Inc.'s pulmonary delivery business that includes the related technology, pipeline assets and the commercial ready manufacturing facility.
"We have a remarkable opportunity to build upon Alkermes' outstanding work developing and validating this proprietary pulmonary delivery technology in the clinic and at commercial scale, with our lead program for Parkinson's disease. We are fortunate to have the pioneers that developed this technology as co-founders, colleagues and investors," said Glenn Batchelder, Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "Also, we are delighted to have a strong investor syndicate that brings deep commercial product expertise."
"The Civitas pulmonary technology holds extraordinary potential to provide therapies to patients that can fundamentally alter the standard of care in many serious diseases," said James Wright, PhD, Founder and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board. "I am excited by the opportunity to translate the full potential of this powerful pulmonary delivery platform into important products."
"I am very pleased to have such a talented and committed group focused on developing these assets," said Richard Pops, Chief Executive Officer of Alkermes. "This team is well positioned to leverage this technology platform to develop therapeutics that could significantly improve patients' lives."
Civitas' lead program for Parkinson's disease has the potential to be used by patients both as an acute rescue therapy for hypomobility episodes and as chronic treatment to minimize response fluctuations. The pulmonary delivery therapy in development by Civitas could assist the large and growing number of Parkinson's patients worldwide who experience debilitating and unpredictable response fluctuations even after optimizing their oral medication regimen.
"Civitas' lead program highlights the attractiveness of this opportunity by applying a highly validated technology that is uniquely able to address a significant unmet need and could provide life altering benefits for Parkinson's patients," said David Hirsch, MD, PhD, of Longitude Capital.
"We are very excited to be working with the company founders, Alkermes and Longitude. We believe the lead program can demonstrate its potential benefit compared to the standard of care very early in the clinical development path with relatively few patients treated," said Tim Shannon, MD, of Canaan Partners.
Civitas' founders also include Richard Batycky, PhD who will serve as Chief Scientific Officer and Martin Freed, MD who will serve as Chief Medical Officer. The Board of Directors will include Mr. Batchelder, Dr. Hirsch, Dr. Shannon, and Blair Jackson of Alkermes.
About Civitas Therapeutics
Civitas is a privately held pharmaceutical company focused on developing products with a clinically proven dry powder pulmonary delivery platform. The proprietary dry powder and device combination is unique in its ability to deliver high, precise doses independent of inspiratory flow rate from a simple, passive device. The technology has successfully delivered more than one million doses to patients and the manufacturing technology has been scaled to accommodate a significant commercial launch. The lead program is for Parkinson's disease with clinical proof of concept anticipated to be complete in 2012. Additional programs encompass pulmonary disease, allergy, and pain.
Civitas licensed and purchased the technology and assets from Alkermes which includes a large IP estate, a set of development stage pipeline assets, the specialized pulmonary equipment and the commercial scale GMP manufacturing facility. Civitas' investors are Canaan Partners, Longitude Capital, and Alkermes.