Relypsa banks $70M Series B for pivotal trial work

Relypsa, the start-up biotech born out of Amgen's acquisition of Ilypsa, has rounded up a whopping $70 million for its Series B, bringing its venture haul to more than $100 million.

Santa Clara, CA-based Relypsa was formed by a core group of ex-Ilypsa executives who gathered up rights to the four preclinical programs they had been working on ahead of Amgen's acquisition--which had focused almost entirely on a lead program. FierceBiotech named the developer a Fierce 15 company in 2008.

Relypsa's lead compound is now RLY5016, and the latest round gives the developer enough money to take it through pivotal clinical studies. RLY5016 is described as a "high capacity non-absorbed oral potassium binder being developed for the chronic and acute management of hyperkalemia, which is most prevalent in patients that suffer from renal impairment, hypertension, diabetes and heart failure."

"Our balance sheet enables us to translate our strong RLY5016 clinical data into an efficient pivotal program that we plan to initiate in the first half of 2011," says Relypsa President Gerrit Klaerner. OrbiMed Advisors led the financing with participation from existing Relypsa investors New Leaf Venture Partners, 5AM Ventures, Delphi Ventures, Sprout Group and Mediphase Venture Partners.

- here's the Relypsa release