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HEALTHCARE | Drug Development
pharmakea.com

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Stage

Merger | Merged

Total Raised

$48M

About PharmAkea Therapeutics

PharmAkea Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company based in San Diego, CA. The company is developing high-quality, small molecule drug candidates against protein targets involved in fibroproliferative diseases.

PharmAkea Therapeutics Headquarter Location

3030 Bunker Hill Street #300

San Diego, California, 92109,

United States

858-764-9080

Latest PharmAkea Therapeutics News

Celgene-Seeded PharmAkea Sells Last Fibrotic Drug Candidate to Galecto

Jan 7, 2020

Celgene-Seeded PharmAkea Sells Last Fibrotic Drug Candidate to Galecto When a group of scientists from Amira Pharmaceuticals wanted to start a new biotech after the company’s 2011 acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb , Celgene provided seed funding. Eventually Celgene kicked in $35 million more for a research collaboration, an equity stake, and an exclusive option to acquire the startup, PharmAkea Therapeutics. But the partnership fizzled, and this week PharmAkea sold the last of the two drug candidates it developed for fibrotic disease to Galecto, a clinical-stage biotech in Denmark. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Rob Williamson, a longtime biotech entrepreneur, joined PharmAkea as CEO in 2013 after the company formed its “build-to-buy”-style alliance with Celgene ( now part of Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY ). In late 2016 Celgene extended the partnership for another nine months and tacked on another $9 million in funding, but the biopharma subsequently decided to give up its option to buy the startup. Williamson, in an interview with Xconomy, said the challenge before him at the time was clear: find an acquirer for PharmAkea’s two programs, drugs designed to inhibit autotaxin and LOXL2, enzymes implicated in fibrotic diseases that function in distinct ways. Instead, he discovered that while there was interest in the programs, no potential suitors wanted both. “We started talking to a couple large crossover investors, and they said, we like autotaxin, or we like LOXL2,” he said. “What we did is we split the company in half.” Once a team of about 25 people, PharmAkea shrank to 10 or so after parting ways with Celgene, then continued reducing its headcount as it negotiated deals for each of the assets, Williamson said. In September 2019, it announced it had sold PAT-409, the autotaxin inhibitor prepared for Phase 1 testing, to South San Francisco-based Blade Therapeutics, which is advancing anti-fibrotic therapies. The Galecto deal adds PharmAkea’s LOXL2 inhibitor PAT-1251, a Phase 2-ready drug, to its lineup of potential treatments for fibrotic diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Galecto’s drug candidates target another enzyme, galectin-3. The clinical-stage company’s backers include Novo Holdings, OrbiMed, Ysios, HBM Healthcare Investments, Sunstone Capital, M Ventures, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Maverick Ventures, Seventure, and SEED Capital. As part of the deal, Carl Goldfischer of Bay City Capital—an early venture backer of PharmaAkea—joins the Galecto board of directors. Sarah de Crescenzo is an Xconomy editor based in San Diego. You can reach her at sdecrescenzo@xconomy.com. Follow @sarahdc

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Expert Collections containing PharmAkea Therapeutics

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

PharmAkea Therapeutics is included in 1 Expert Collection, including Biopharma Tech.

B

Biopharma Tech

5,238 items

Companies involved in the research, development, and commercialization of chemically- or biologically-derived therapeutic & theranostic drugs. Excludes vitamins/supplements, CROs/clinical trial services.

PharmAkea Therapeutics Patents

PharmAkea Therapeutics has filed 27 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Amines
  • Transcription factors
  • Extracellular matrix proteins
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

12/13/2019

7/27/2021

Amines, Pharmaceutical industry, Transcription factors, Fluoroarenes, Extracellular matrix proteins

Grant

Application Date

12/13/2019

Grant Date

7/27/2021

Title

Related Topics

Amines, Pharmaceutical industry, Transcription factors, Fluoroarenes, Extracellular matrix proteins

Status

Grant

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