France's Nautilus Biotech has gained $11.3 million in new venture backing to develop new protein drugs. Most of that money will be used in the clinical development of the company's two lead programs: Belerofon and Vitatropin. Creabilis Biotech, Ed. de Rothschild Investment Partners, Auriga Partners, and Matignon Technologies were among the investors.
Belerofon and Vitatropin are, respectively, proprietary variants of human Interferon alpha and human Growth Hormone. Each has a single amino acid replacement, making them both long-lasting in serum following injection and, for the first time, orally available. Earlier this month Nautilus Biotech initiated a Phase I clinical trial for subcutaneous Belerofon. In February the company submitted an IND filing for oral Belerofon to the FDA and plans to start clinical trials later this year. The company also expects to submit an IND filing for Vitatropin in 2007.
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