Company: Reata Pharmaceuticals
Based: Irving, TX
Investors: Novo A/S
Scoop: Reata originally set out to develop bardoxolone as an oncology drug. But in the course of clinical trials, researchers noticed improved renal function in subjects who were given the drug, prompting Reata to shift its focus to chronic kidney disease and diabetes. Bardoxolone activates the Nrf2 gene, improving the filtration rate of the kidneys. The company has already completed Phase II trials of the drug. The $78 million round is being used to fund late-stage trials of the drug.
The developer has already caught the attention of Big Pharma. Just a month after announcing the financing round, Reata also unveiled a $450 million deal with Abbott Labs in exchange for the ex-U.S. licensing rights for bardoxolone.