PhaseBio tops up Series B with $15M in venture cash

Fresh from advancing an experimental diabetes therapy into the clinic, Malvern, PA-based PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals has nailed down the second tranche of its $25 million Series B. New Enterprise Associates led the round, adding $15 million in this tranche with help from Astellas Venture Management, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Hatteras Venture Partners and Fletcher Spaght Ventures.

The developer, which nailed the first tranche a year ago, is working with elastin-like biopolymers to increase the half-life, bioavailability, efficacy and ease of administration of therapeutic drugs, with an eye to reducing side effects and costs. Ashutosh Chilkoti, professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University, developed the original technology licensed to the biotech. PhaseBio is focused on diabetes, metabolic disease and cardiovascular disease.

"We have made great progress during the past year with the advancement of our pipeline and the recent launch of our clinical program in diabetes," said Dr. Chris Prior, chief executive officer of PhaseBio. "We are also gratified to receive funding under the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project program in recognition of our efforts to develop novel drug candidates to treat Type 2 diabetes and resistant hypertension using our proprietary elastin-like biopolymer technology. These funds will be used to support clinical testing of Glymera in patients with Type 2 diabetes and complete preparations for clinical testing of our second product development compound, Vasomera, to treat resistant hypertension."

- check out the PhaseBio release