Names Michael Singer Chief Financial Officer
MONTREAL, June 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Clementia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the completion of a U.S. $60 million mezzanine round of financing to support the ongoing development of the Company's lead compound palovarotene for the treatment of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). New Enterprise Associates (NEA) was the lead investor with participation by UCB, RA Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital Management, EcoR1 Capital, and a fund advised by Janus Capital Management LLC as well as existing investors OrbiMed Advisors and BDC Capital Healthcare Venture Fund.
"This oversubscribed round highlights significant investor confidence in Clementia and our palovarotene program," said Clarissa Desjardins, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Clementia, "More importantly, it allows us to continue focusing on our top priority of developing palovarotene as a potential treatment option for patients with FOP."
Palovarotene, an investigational retinoic acid receptor gamma agonist, is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials for patients with FOP. A rare, severely disabling genetic disease, FOP is characterized by painful, recurrent episodes of soft tissue swelling (flare-ups) and abnormal new bone formation. This process, known as heterotopic ossification (HO), occurs in muscles, tendons and ligaments, causing significant morbidities and progressive disability. There are currently no approved treatments for FOP.
"The Clementia team has identified a critical unmet need in FOP and is working quickly and efficiently to advance the palovarotene clinical program," said David Mott, General Partner at New Enterprise Associates, which has a proven track record in the rare disease space. "NEA and this entire syndicate look forward to contributing to the company's efforts to develop a much needed treatment."
Clementia also announced that it has appointed Michael Singer as its Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Singer will be responsible for the financial strategy and operations at Clementia. He has held a number of senior finance and governance roles within the pharmaceutical industry including most recently at Bedrocan Canada and prior to that at Caprion and Thallion Pharmaceuticals. A chartered professional accountant, Mr. Singer served as Chairman of the Board of Warnex Inc. and currently serves on the board of Diagnos Inc.
About Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP)
FOP is a rare, severely disabling congenital myopathy characterized by painful, recurrent episodes of soft tissue swelling (flare-ups) that result in new, abnormal bone formation in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Flare-ups begin early in life and may occur spontaneously or after soft tissue trauma, vaccinations, or influenza infections. Recurrent flare-ups progressively restrict movement by locking joints, leading to cumulative loss of function and disability. FOP is caused by a point mutation in the ALK2/BMP Type I receptor; the mutation results in over-activity of the receptor. Virtually all known patients have the same point mutation and have congenital malformations of the big toes at birth. FOP is thought to affect less than one individual for every million lives.
Palovarotene is a retinoic acid receptor gamma agonist in-licensed from Roche Pharmaceuticals, where it was previously evaluated in more than 800 individuals including healthy volunteers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Palovarotene has been shown to block bone formation in a variety of mouse models of FOP and is being investigated as a potential treatment for FOP.
About Clementia Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Clementia is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies for people living with rare diseases. The company is advancing palovarotene to address several diseases, including fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. For more information, please visit www.clementiapharma.com.
SOURCE Clementia Pharmaceuticals, Inc.