D&D Pharma snags $51M ahead of Korean IPO for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

Yoo-Seok Hong joined D&D Pharmatech as CEO this summer after leading various commercialization projects at GlaxoSmithKline and heading up GSK's Canada and Korea operations previously. (D&D Pharmatech)

D&D Pharmatech has secured $51 million to fund clinical development across its five subsidiaries, including phase 2 trials in fatty liver disease, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. 

The series C, originally planned for $40 million, paves the way for a likely initial public offering in Korea next quarter, said CEO Yoo-Seok Hong in an interview with Fierce Biotech. D&D has already passed the first of two key steps in the Korean biotech IPO process, or the external evaluation of its technology, and is now moving into discussions with the exchange. 

Taken together, the series C and likely IPO are expected to generate enough proceeds to fund the company into the end of 2023, Hong said. 

The pre-IPO round will bankroll an ongoing phase 2 study of the company's lead asset in Parkinson's disease. That trial is enrolling about 240 patients in the U.S. and Canada, and top-line results are slated for the first half of 2023, Hong said. Those data will be a "major catalyst for us as a company in progressing to the next stage," the CEO added.

RELATED: D&D bags $137M to fund midphase Alzheimer's, Parkinson's trials

That same drug, dubbed NLY-01 after the subsidiary's name, Neuraly, will also be tested in a midstage study in patients with Alzheimer's after D&D completes its IPO, Hong said. 

The FDA's controversial approval of Biogen's Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm in June could be a boon for D&D's own studies. 

"It kind of worked out better in some ways, because we haven’t started our trial yet and we have seen a significant change in the FDA stance," Hong said, noting D&D is still ironing out the trial design.

The funds will also fund a phase 2 trial of DD01, a treatment being tested in patients with both diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. 

Aside from Neuraly, Korea-based D&D owns U.S. subsidiaries Precision Molecular, Theraly Fibrosis, P4Microbiome and Valted Seq. D&D's last cash infusion was a $137 million series B in August 2019. 

Hong joined D&D in July after serving as a vice president at GlaxoSmithKline, working on special projects for the past year, and, prior to that, leading the U.K. Big Pharma's Canadian and Korean operations.