Intercept Pharma hauls in $25M Series B

Intercept Pharmaceuticals' majority shareholder, the Italian biotech Genextra, is pumping a $25 million Series B into its coffers.

"This financing is recognition of the success we have had advancing our lead compounds INT-747 and INT-777," said Dr. Mark Pruzanski, the CEO of the New York-based biotech. "Genextra's strong backing will enable us to advance our clinical programs while continuing to build our pipeline of novel small molecules targeting FXR, TGR5 and other bile acid receptors."

Intercept, which has research facilities in Italy, is focused on the treatment of chronic fibrotic and metabolic diseases. In 2009 the company announced that its lead therapy achieved a primary endpoint of improved insulin sensitization in type 2 diabetic patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Intercept is currently preparing for an End of Phase II meeting with FDA to lay out a Phase III program.

"With two positive Phase II studies last year, the company has made great progress in validating the therapeutic utility of INT-747 and the novel class of compounds it belongs to more broadly," said Dr. Lorenzo Tallarigo, the Genextra CEO who is now joining the board at Intercept as chairman.

- check out the Intercept's release