Tioga raises $18M for Phase III clinical trial

San Diego-based Tioga Pharmaceuticals has rounded up $18 million to fund a late-stage trial which will enroll 600 patients with diarrhea predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Forward Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners and BB Biotech Ventures were joined by new investor Genesys Capital Partners in the round.

Tioga says that the upcoming Phase III will be one of two registration trials that will be needed for an approval of asimadoline, a small molecule kappa opioid receptor agonist. The U.S. trial launches next month at 120 sites in the U.S.

To date Tioga has only one partner on the therapy. Ono Pharmaceutical signed on for the rights to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan last fall. Ono is scheduled to launch a Phase I trial of the drug in Japan in the first half of the year.

- check out Tioga's release for more info