Cambridge MedTech company raises $23.5 million

Cambridge UK medical technology company Acacia Pharma has raised £15 million ($23.5m) in a Series B financing led by Fidelity Biosciences and Novo A/S.

Current investors Gilde Healthcare and Lundbeckfond Ventures also participated in the round. Dr Alex Pasteur of Fidelity Biosciences and Dr Martin Edwards of Novo A/S have joined the board as non-executive directors.

Acacia is a pharmaceutical company specialising in the development of drugs for supportive care.

Acacia Pharma will use the proceeds to develop its pipeline, chiefly to:-

• Complete Phase III development of APD421 for the prevention of post-operative nausea & vomiting (PONV)

• Complete Phase II development of APD403 for the prevention of chemotherapy induced nausea & vomiting (CINV)

• Develop the commercial presentation of APD515 for the treatment of xerostomia (dry mouth) in advanced cancer patients.

Julian Gilbert, Acacia Pharma’s CEO said: “I am delighted to welcome Fidelity and Novo to the Company and would like to thank Gilde and Lundbeckfond for their continued support. The company is about to initiate a number of key studies with results being available in 2014. The data generated to date in PONV, CINV and xerostomia have been excellent so we look forward to continued success.”

Dr Alex Pasteur of Fidelity Biosciences added: “Significant numbers of post-surgical patients do not receive adequate nausea and vomiting prophylaxis. APD421, Acacia Pharma’s lead product, a D2/D3 antagonist, showed excellent efficacy in its Phase II trial, and had a very good safety profile. We believe that a drug with this novel mechanism and displaying these characteristics can provide a major contribution to the care of post-surgical patients.”

Dr Martin Edwards of Novo A/S said that in addition to APD421, Acacia had generated excellent Phase II a proof-of-concept data on APD403 in CINV. The drug, the same D2/D3 antagonist used in APD421, appears to have a unique anti-nauseant profile and can be added to current recommended CINV regimens due to its novel, complementary, mechanism of action, thereby targeting the key unmet need within this debilitating condition,” he said. “We have high hopes for APD403 and for the future success of the company.”

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