Toronto, Canada – Zucara Therapeutics Inc., a diabetes life sciences company developing the first once-daily therapeutic to prevent insulin-induced hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels), today announced that it has closed a US$21 million Series A Financing led by the Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund (“PXV Fund”).
The proceeds from the financing will fund Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of ZT-01, Zucara’s first-in-class drug candidate designed to prevent hypoglycemia in Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), a frequent, unintended consequence of insulin therapy for people with T1D and other types of insulin-dependent diabetes. Hypoglycemia is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, yet there are currently no available therapeutics to prevent the condition. ZT-01 has the potential to restore the body’s ability to recover from hypoglycemia, which could improve disease management and prevent dangerous hypoglycemic episodes, potentially reducing long-term complications.
Zucara is currently preparing to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial of ZT-01 in mid-2020.
“We are delighted to receive this support from the PXV Fund, which we believe is a testament to ZT-01’s potential to make insulin-induced hypoglycemia – a constant risk and concern for patients using insulin therapy – largely preventable,” said Michael Midmer, Zucara Therapeutics’ Chief Executive Officer. “We are very grateful to the foundations and venture accelerators that helped us bring ZT-01 to this stage of development, and now, for PXV Fund’s support, which ensures we are well positioned to advance ZT-01 through a Phase 2 clinical trial.”
Dr. Richard Liggins, Chief Scientific Officer of Zucara, added, “This funding comes at a historically meaningful time, nearly 100 years after Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921. As much of Zucara’s early inspiration originated at UofT, we hope that it will be the next great innovation in diabetes management to originate in this part of Canada.”
Chris Garabedian, CEO of Xontogeny and Manager, PXV Fund for Perceptive Advisors, commented, “We are proud to support Zucara’s continued development of ZT-01, which clearly addresses a significant unmet need for patients using insulin therapy. Since only ‘rescue’ therapies, such as emergency glucagon, are currently available for those experiencing hypoglycemia, we believe ZT-01 could greatly benefit patients by preventing this dangerous and potentially fatal condition.”
Zucara was co-founded by Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (“TIAP”) and adMare BioInnovations (“adMare”) based on foundational intellectual property from the University of Toronto. ZT-01’s preclinical research and development was supported by more than US$7 million of funding, including US$3.9M from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and US$0.8M from JDRF International; along with additional R&D and business development support from adMare, TIAP, Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator (now part of adMare) and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).
About Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund
Established in 2018, the Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund (PXV Fund) focuses purely on private investments in early stage life sciences companies. A primary source of investments for the PXV Fund are companies that are seeded, incubated, and/or actively managed by Xontogeny, a life sciences accelerator that provides experienced operational support to successfully and efficiently advance early stage companies. The PXV Fund is an affiliate of Perceptive Advisors, a New York City-based investment management firm founded in 1999 and focused on supporting the progress of the life sciences industry by identifying opportunities and directing financial resources to the most promising technologies in healthcare. For more information about Perceptive, visit www.perceptivelife.com.
About Zucara Therapeutics Inc.
Zucara Therapeutics is developing ZT-01, a first-in-class, once-daily therapeutic to prevent insulin-induced hypoglycemia in patients using insulin therapy. ZT-01 is designed to inhibit somatostatin, a pancreatic hormone that impairs the glucagon response to hypoglycemia in people with insulin dependent diabetes. ZT-01 restores glucagon secretion to prevent hypoglycemia, which could dramatically change diabetes disease management and improve both patient health and quality of life. For more information, visit www.zucara.ca.