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Ascendis Fundraising for Trial

Danish biotech Ascendis Pharma has put together a $60 million D round, cash that will help get its once-a-week treatment for growth hormone deficiency (GHD) into late-stage testing.

Ascendis is relying on a technology called TransCon, a hydrogel made of prodrug linkers that seek out targeted molecules in the body and then release their dosage.The biotech’s top prospect is TransCon growth hormone, a weekly GHD therapy designed to replace the daily injections that make up the standard of care.

In a Phase II study in adults with GHD, the weekly treatment met all of its primary and secondary endpoints, demonstrating itself to be as effective as daily growth hormone shots. Ascendis expects to release top-line results from that study in mid-2015, using the results to inform a late-stage program and its latest fundraiser to pay for it.

Sofinnova Ventures, OrbiMed and Vivo Capital co-led the new round, joined by a group of investors including Janus Capital Management, Venrock, RA Capital Management and the Paris-headquartered Sofinnova Partners, which is Ascendis’ largest shareholder.