J&J contributes to PhaseBio's $23M B-round expansion

Just a few months after launching an early-stage study of an experimental cardiovascular drug, Malvern, PA-based PhaseBio has snagged an extra $23 million in venture funds. The veteran biotech VC New Enterprise Associates led the way on the Series B expansion, which brings PhaseBio's second round to $48.4 million, with J&J Development, Astellas Venture Management, Hatteras Venture Partners and Fletcher Spaght Ventures all contributing.

Much of that money will be used to back a Phase IIb study of the biotech's lead drug, Glymera, an experimental diabetes drug. A third drug, called Insumera, is in a Phase I/IIstudy for Type 2 diabetes. The most recent entry into the clinic is also known as PB1046, a VPAC2-selective vasoactive intestinal peptide agonist being studied for hypertension and congestive heart failure.

"This additional investment with participation by all of our investors reflects their confidence in the PhaseBio product development programs, our versatile ELP technology platform and the extraordinary progress we have made in advancing our pipeline," said Christopher Prior, Ph.D., the CEO at PhaseBio. "This provides us great flexibility in continuing to grow the value of PhaseBio by advancing our best-in-class GLP-1 analogue, Glymera, our complementary ultra long-acting basal insulin, Insumera, and our first-in-class, VPAC2 selective agonist, Vasomera, through further clinical studies to drive higher value partnerships."

PhaseBio is traveling a path that has stymied more than one biotech. The FDA's safety standards on diabetes drugs are very high, which has been driving up the cost of clinical trial programs for drugs that treat the disease.

- here's the press release