MSDC Spinout Company Cirius Therapeutics Lands Significant Investment
A recent press release http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cirius-therapeutics-completes-40-million-series-a-financing-to-fund-phase-2b-study-of-msdc-0602k-in-nash-adds-to-executive-team-300437630.html revealed that Cirius Therapeutics, formally known as Octeta Therapeutics, a spin out of the Kalamazoo based company Metabolic Solutions Development Company (MSDC), has just completed a capital raise of $40 million in order to complete the phase 2b study of MSDC-0602K as a potential novel treatment for NASH. NASH, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is a severe, rapidly progressing form of fatty liver disease for which there are no approved therapeutics. The capital raise involved Frazier Healthcare Partners and Novo A/S as co-leaders and also new investors Adams Street Partners and Renaissance Venture Capital Fund together existing investors including Hopen Life Sciences Ventures.
Cirius Therapetuics (http://ciriustx.com/ ) is the first company spun out from MSDC, which was co-founded by Jerry Colca, Ph.D. and Rolf Kletzien, Ph.D. in Kalamazoo in 2006. MSDC-0602K is a new insulin sensitizing agent that works through a newly identified mitochondrial target that was identified by MSDC scientists led by William (Bill) McDonald working with Greg Cavey of the Western Michigan University School of Medicine Innovation Center. The optimization of insulin sensitizers for this newly identified mitochondrial target over the nuclear receptor that was once thought to be the target of all insulin sensitizers has resulted in the development of second generation insulin sensitizers that work by altering mitochondrial metabolism. The discovery, selection, and early development of MSDC-0602K prior to the spin out was all done at the Innovation Center Laboratory in collaboration with other Kalamazoo area CROs including Kalexsyn, PharmOptima, Eurofins, and MPI as summarized on the MSDC website (http://www.msdrx.com/about/cro-network ).
MSDC maintains interest in other newly identified potential clinical candidates as well as the clinical candidate MSDC-0160, which earlier this year was shown to have unique neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions as a result of the newly identified effect on mitochondrial metabolism (https://www.cureparkinsons.org.uk/news/diabetes-drug-slows-experimental-pd-progression )