The round was led by F-Prime Capital Partners and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, with participation by Novo AS, RiverVest Venture Partners, and TPG Biotech. Concurrent with the financing, venture capitalists Ketan Patel, M.D., Naveed Siddiqi M.D., Tiba Aynechi Ph.D., Niall O’Donnell, Ph.D., and Heather Preston, M.D. joined the board of directors. Jonathan Leff, M.D, former Executive Vice President of Research and Development at InterMune and who led the oral pirfenidone (Esbriet®) approval process, was appointed an independent director.
A. Bruce Montgomery, M.D. was appointed Chief Executive Officer and will lead clinical development out of the Seattle office. Founder and inventor, Mark Surber, Ph.D. was responsible for organizing the financing and was named Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Surber will head the San Diego office focusing on Aerodone™ nonclinical support and pipeline research and development.
“In addition to advancing our early-stage pipeline, with this financing and our veteran development team, we have the funds and expertise to test Aerodone™ for the treatment of IPF through Phase 2 clinical trials,” said Dr. Surber. “Despite the approval of two medicines, IPF remains a fatal disease with substantial unmet need for improved tolerability and effective medical treatments. By the inhaled approach, we are enthusiastic for the opportunity to meet these needs and improve patient lives.”
“Reformulating systemic drugs for targeted inhaled lung delivery has successfully improved the efficacy and decreased systemic adverse effects for corticosteroids and bronchodilators in both asthma and COPD, and antibiotics in cystic fibrosis,” said Dr. Montgomery. “We hope to accomplish the same benefits with pirfenidone.”