Venture Capital: Rivus Pharma Lands $132M For Obesity and Cardio-Metabolic Drug

September 23, 2022 | News, Venture Capital
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In a trial, the company’s HU6 drug candidate for cardio-metabolic disease and obesity showed significant reductions in liver, visceral, and total body fat while conserving skeletal muscle mass, all without changes in diet or exercise.

Rivus Pharmaceuticals Inc announced its $132 million Series B financing that would advance obesity drug HU6, its lead candidate, and a first-in-class Controlled Metabolic Accelerator (CMA) for cardio-metabolic disease, as well as obesity, the primary driver of the disease. (CISION PR Newswire)

The funding round was led by RA Capital Management with participation from Bain Capital Life Sciences, BB Biotech AG and existing investors Longitude Capital, Medicxi and RxCapital.

Cardio metabolic diseases affect nearly half of American adults and can damage the person’s health and quality of life. Most often, the root cause of these diseases is obesity, yet these patients are often unable to lose weight through changes in lifestyle.

In a phase 2a metabolic study of obese participants, Rivus showed that its lead candidate HU6 demonstrated significant reductions in liver, visceral, and total body fat while conserving skeletal muscle mass, all without changes in diet or exercise. In fact, weight loss was amplified in patients with elevated HbA1c.

Furthermore, patients treated with HU6 saw improvement in key cardiovascular and metabolic health indicators including glycemic control, glycated albumin and HbA1c, reduction in blood pressure and inflammatory markers.

Allen Cunningham, President and CEO of Rivus Pharmaceuticals said in a statement: “Following encouraging data from our Phase 2a clinical trial in patients with obesity, this financing enables us to advance development of HU6 and a pipeline of Controlled Metabolic Accelerators to address a range of cardio-metabolic conditions.”

Derek DiRocco, partner at RA Capital and new board director said: “While there have been several recent clinical successes in the treatment of obesity, CMAs stand alone in their ability to demonstrate significant fat reduction while sparing muscle mass, a very desirable profile especially in patients with diabetic myopathy and sarcopenia.”

Morgan Stanley equity analyst Mark Purcell said last month that the treatment of obesity was on the cusp of moving into mainstream primary care management, and could quickly become a top-12 global therapy – going from a $2.4 billion category in 2022 to $54 billion by 2030, according to Morgan Stanley Research.

“The clear precedent for investors,” Purcell says, “is treatment for high blood pressure, which went from a nascent category in the 1980s to a $30 billion market in the 1990s.”

Related Story: Brightseed Raises $68M For AI-Researched Health-Benefiting Compounds

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