Cinclus Pharma has completed a financing round of SEK 250 million to fund the further clinical development of X842, a clinical-stage drug candidate for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund (AP4) joined as a new major shareholder through the issue, which was also subscribed by, among others, the current shareholders Bengt Julander, Jonas Sjögren and Recipharm Venture Fund.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
X842 has the potential to alleviate GERD symptoms and heal esophageal injuries more effectively than current pharmaceutical therapies, states the company in its press release. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common medical condition characterized by regurgitation of gastric acid from the stomach into the esophagus. This can lead to severe pain and mucosal erosions.
“Currently available GERD treatments are not sufficiently effective to maintain a normal esophageal pH over the course of a full day. Among patients treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Losec or Nexium, about 40 percent experience unsatisfactory symptom alleviation. More than 35 percent of patients who suffer from severe esophageal erosions (grade C and D esophagitis) are not healed despite high dosage treatment with PPIs,” states the company.
Potassium Competitive Acid Blockers
X842 represents a novel class of pharmaceuticals (Potassium Competitive Acid Blockers, P-CAB), which utilizes a different mode of action to modulate and control the release of gastric acid, as compared to PPIs. This novel approach provides a better way to alleviate symptoms and promote healing of the fretted mucosal lining, states the company. X842 is based on a substance initially developed by AstraZeneca that has been proven safe and well-tolerated in studies including over 2 500 individuals. The safety profile and pharmacokinetic characteristics of X842 has been demonstrated in a Phase 1 clinical study.
A phase 2 clinical trial
The proceeds from the financing round will be used to perform a phase 2 clinical trial, which is expected to start in the second half of 2020, as well as operating costs and other key activities necessary to make the project ready for a phase 3 clinical trial program.
“The high level of interest from reputed and long-term investors provides us with the opportunity to bring our unique drug candidate, X842, all the way to a phase 3 clinical program. The introduction of Losec and other proton pump inhibitors in the 1980s and the 1990s was a major step forward in the treatment of GERD. However, there is potential to help significantly more patients to a better life by developing even more efficient drugs,” says Kjell Andersson, CEO at Cinclus Pharma.