Celladon raises $43 million for heart failure treatment

Celladon Corporation has announced the completion of a $43 million equity financing to advance MYDICAR, its lead investigational product candidate for the treatment of heart failure.

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LA JOLLA, Calif.—Celladon Corporation has announced thecompletion of a $43 million equity financing to advance MYDICAR, its leadinvestigational product candidate for the treatment of heart failure. PfizerVenture Investments, a new investor, led the financing. Additional newinvestors included Novartis Venture Funds, Lundbeckfond Ventures, H&QHealthcare/Life Sciences Investors and GBS Venture Partners. All of Celladon'sprevious investors also participated in the round, including Johnson & JohnsonDevelopment Corporation, Enterprise Partners Venture Capital and VenrockAssociates.
"We are pleased to have attracted such a top tier syndicateto support advancement of MYDICAR for the benefit of advanced heart failurepatients," Krisztina Zsebo, Ph.D., President and CEO of Celladon, said in apress release. "The positive results of the phase 2 CUPID Trial demonstratedthe potential of MYDICAR to become an important treatment for patients withchronic, advanced heart failure."
MYDICAR, a genetically targeted enzyme replacement therapy,is designed to restore levels of SERCA2a, the levels of which drop in all formsof late-stage heart failure resulting in deficient heart function. The SERCA2agene is delivered by MYDICAR via a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) asthe vector, a naturally occurring virus unassociated with any disease inhumans. In its Phase II CUPID trial, MYDICAR met its primary safety andefficacy endpoints, displaying no significant side effect from the therapy.Twelve months after receiving a single infusion of MYDICAR, patients whoreceived the highest dose versus placebo demonstrated an 88 percent riskreduction of major cardiovascular events such as worsening heart failure andnumber of related hospitalizations, need for left ventricular assist device ortransplant and death. Heart failure also became stabilized in high doseMYDICAR-treated patients.
MYDICAR received Fast Track status from the U.S. Food andDrug Administration in December 2011, and Celladon intends to advance the clinicaldevelopment of the treatment in 2012.
Nearly 6 million people in the United States suffer fromheart failure, with approximately 670,000 new cases expected to be diagnosedthis year. Heart failure accounts for approximately 280,000 deaths per year, andchronic heart failure was expected to take a toll of $39.2 billion on thehealthcare system in terms of direct and indirect costs in 2010.
"MYDICAR has demonstrated clinical benefit in human clinicaltrials and we believe that it has the potential to be a much needed newtreatment option for patients with advanced heart failure. Pfizer VentureInvestments is very pleased to support Celladon's efforts to improve the livesof heart failure patients with our investment in the company," Dr. BarbaraDalton, the new Chair of Celladon, noted in a press release.
In tandem with the financing, Celladon has also added a newgroup of directors to its company board, including Barbara Dalton, Ph.D., ofPfizer Venture Investments (Chair); Johan Kordel, Ph.D., of LundbeckfondVentures; Lauren Silverman, Ph.D., of Novartis Venture Funds; Daniel Omstead,Ph.D., of Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management; and Josh Funder, D.Phil.,of GBS Venture Partners. Andrew Senyei, M.D., of Enterprise Partners VentureCapital, will continue to serve as director.
SOURCE: Celladon press release

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