Chiasma Scores Huge $44 Million Funding

Biotech firm developed a platform to administer proteinaceous drugs orally

Guy Grimland
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Chiasma achieved a remarkable coup for a biotechnology startup. The privately held firm, which is developing technologies to enhance the oral delivery of proteins and small molecules, today announced the completion of a $44 million Series C financing round.

It will be using the proceeds to take three programs into clinical development and to advance its core technology, Chiasma said.

The financing was led by MPM Capital, with participation by ARCH Venture Partners and existing investors Ofer Hi-tech Group and F-2 Ventures.

Pursuant to the financing, Drs. Ansbert Gadicke and Edward Scolnick of MPM Capital will join the company's board of directors and Robert Nelsen of ARCH Venture Partners will join the Board of Directors as an observer.

Chiasma developed a platform for  the oral administration of drugs, in the stead of intravenous administration. Administering drugs without shots has long been a knotty problem for the biotechnology sector. Materials with low concentrations of active ingredients, such as Acamol, reach the digestive track but don't make it into the blood. Chiasma set out to solve that problem: it developed three drugs for oral administration that made it through the intestine-blood barrier. The financing will help further the development of the three drugs.

Dr. Edward Scolnick, Executive Advisor to MPM Capital, and former President of Merck Research Laboratories commented, "Chiasma's technology has the potential to revolutionize the oral delivery of protein- and peptide-based drugs. Poor absorption of these drugs currently require their injection by subcutaneous or IV means. Although early, Chiasma's technology for oral delivery could eventually have a very significant impact on the utilization and effectiveness of protein and peptide drugs."

In addition to Drs. Gadicke and Scolnick, the Chiasma board includes Guy Yachin, CEO; Raul Cesan, former COO of Schering Plough; Dr. Dalia Megiddo of InnoMed Ventures; Dr. Bard Geesaman of F2 Ventures and MPM Capital; and Yoav Doppelt of Ofer Hi-tech Group.