17 Dec Deltanoid secures $12 million in venture capital
Madison, Wis. – Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals, a privately held pharmaceutical development company based in Madison, has announced the completion of a $12 million round of financing that will be used to advance therapies for the treatment of renal disease.
The funding round, which brings Deltanoid’s total funding to more than $16 million to date, was led by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and other previous investors.
Deltanoid was established in 2001 to advance the development of patented vitamin D compounds licensed from WARF, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s licensing arm. Deltanoid is developing a portfolio of products for diseases where vitamin D compounds have proven to be effective, including renal osteodystrophy, psoriasis, and osteoporosis.
In addition to WARF, investors include the private equity firms Mason Wells of Milwaukee and Venture Investors of Madison, plus a local corporation, company founders, and angel investors.
“We’re very pleased that money has been raised from existing shareholders and they were very enthusiastic, which gives us confidence that we are doing a good job,” said Deltanoid President and CEO Hector DeLuca.
The company’s strategy has been to develop technologies through human trials. Deltanoid already has drug therapies in phase II human trials for psoriasis and osteoporosis that have attracted the attention and interest of “world-class” pharmaceutical companies, according to DeLuca, and it has two renal treatment compounds that are ready to enter Phase I trials. One of the products in development for the treatment of renal disease is a phosphate binder that has proven to be effective in removing excess phosphate from the body during treatment; another is a third-generation enhancement to therapies like Deltanoid’s Zemplar that is more effective in addressing various side effects of renal therapies.
Deltanoid also has received income from partnerships with several pharmaceutical companies that have allowed the company to support its research, and it plans to broaden that pipeline as it develops therapies for commercialization, DeLuca said. Among the pharmaceutical companies Deltanoid has partnered with is Abbott Laboratories, which has worked with Delanoid to develop therapeuitic targets for secondary hyperthyroidism in patients with chronic kindey failure. Secondary hyperthyroidism is a condition that can lead to bone weakness in kidney dialysis and pre-dialysis patients, and Zemplar is one of the treatments developed for it.
In additon to the funding commitment, Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF, has joined the Deltanoid board of directors. Gulbrandsen said WARF has great confidence in DeLuca and the technology the company is working with, but also indicated that time is of the essence.
“Time is wasting on the patent life, so we have to get things done with this,” he said.
WARF and other investors are impressed by how quickly Deltanoid is building a pipeline of products. Trevor D’Souza, managing director of Mason Wells, said proceeds from this round will allow Deltanoid to continue to “validate new compounds in the clinic.”
He said Mason Wells is committed to further investment in Delanoid, citing a proven management team and its level of scientific knowledge.
John Neis, managing director of Venture Investors, said the new round was oversubscribed by “just our current investors,” which he said is a strong vote of confidence in the Deltanoid’s ability to identify and advance commercially viable therapies.
Neis said Delatnoid has a track record of screening and developing early-stage compounds and advancing them through the clinic.
“It comes down to a belief in the [Deltanoid] people to execute,” Neis said. “Hector DeLuca has a fantastic track record of accomplishment, and we believe he will continue to do so.”
In addition to Gulbrandsen, the company has added Dr. Lori Plum, its director of research and development at Deltanoid, to the board of directors.
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