Melbourne, Australia - 1 October 2015 - Private Australian biopharmaceutical company Paranta Biosciences Limited has successfully closed an AUD$7 million financing round. Since commencing operations in 2011, the Company has raised AUD$16 million.
The capital raising was fully subscribed with 80 per cent of the Company's existing shareholders participating with a small number of selected new shareholders joining the register.
Funds raised will be used to progress Paranta's two major commercial opportunities which seek to harness the unique therapeutic properties of follistatin, a naturally occurring glycoprotein which is a critical regulator of multiple cellular, inflammatory and fibrotic pathways within the body.
Paranta's main program is focused on developing PB01, a form of recombinant human follistatin, for treating inflammatory and fibrotic lung diseases with the Company targeting cystic fibrosis as its lead indication.
In September, Paranta commenced enrollment of healthy male volunteers in the first clinical study of inhaled PB01. The study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled Phase I clinical trial performed in three stages.
The first two stages will be conducted at CMAX in Adelaide to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single and multiple ascending doses of PB01. The third stage, expected to start in January 2016, to be conducted in Manchester, United Kingdom, will investigate the effects of a single dose of PB01 on lung inflammation.
"The commencement of this first-in-human clinical study marks an important milestone in the development of inhaled PB01 as a novel and potentially transformative biotherapeutic for treating neutrophilic lung disease, including cystic fibrosis" said Ross Barrow, Chief Executive Officer of Paranta.
"The Company has had to overcome significant technical challenges associated with the development and scaling up of its manufacturing processes over the past few years. We have demonstrated excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties of PB01 in preclinical studies. Importantly, in nonclinical safety studies we have also shown that PB01 is a very safe and well tolerated compound possessing an exceptionally benign toxicological profile. Based on our preclinical efficacy and safety data, PB01 has the potential to be a major advance for the management and treatment of cystic fibrosis lung disease," Mr Barrow said.
Paranta's second program is focused on the development of intravenously administered PB01 as a novel chemotherapy-sensitizing agent for use in the treatment of cancer. This program is based on a recent discovery by researchers at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, and the Company has obtained exclusive rights to commercialise the technology. The program is in preclinical development with promising results achieved in laboratory in vitro and in vivo studies.