Inventiva has raised €36 million ($44 million) to gear up for a phase 3 trial of pan-PPAR activator lanifibranor in NASH. The financing will see Inventiva through a period in which it will drop data from a phase 2b NASH trial and a two-year carcinogenicity study.
Daix, France-based Inventiva expects its freshly-inflated cash pile to see it through to the middle of 2020. In that time, Inventiva will spend €16 million to get lanifibranor ready for a possible phase 3 NASH trial and further clinical development in systemic sclerosis. A further €12 million is earmarked for trials of odiparcil in the mucopolysaccharidosis group of rare metabolic disorders.
BVF Partners and Novo A/S both increased their holdings through the offering. BVF paid €10 million to almost double the number of shares it owns, giving it a 15% stake in the company. Sofinnova, a new investor in Inventiva, also bought €10 million worth of shares. Novo A/S chipped in another €5 million.
With BVF, Novo and Sofinnova now owning 30% of the shares between them, Inventiva has backing from a strong syndicate as its enters a critical 18-month period. The series of important readouts is set to start in the second quarter with the carcinogenicity results, and accelerate next year with the release of data from phase 2b trials of lanifibranor in NASH and systemic sclerosis and earlier-phase results on odiparcil.
A lot rests on the NASH readout that is scheduled for the second half of next year. Inventiva is in the middle of a congested field of companies targeting the indication. But its backers think it has a shot at carving out a space with the phase 2b data.
"Inventiva has the potential to become a global leader in NASH, systemic sclerosis and MPS, diseases with significant unmet need,” Sofinnova’s Jacques Theurillat said in a statement. “In addition, Inventiva is an excellent fit with Sofinnova's strategy of investing in innovative products and experienced management.”