Relypsa completes $80M round as it preps pivotal heart study

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Relypsa has put the finishing touches on its whopping $80 million C round from some high-profile biotech investors as it sets the stage for a pivotal trial of its lead drug. The money--which follows a $70 million round two years ago--will be used to put RLY5016 to the ultimate test as a treatment for hyperkalemia, a condition in which high levels of potassium threatens patients suffering from diabetes, heart failure, and kidney disease with a potentially lethal case of arrhythmia.
The drug, dubbed patiromer, has completed enrollment of more than 300 patients in a Phase IIb study as investigators prepare to analyze the efficacy and safety of the drug ahead of a Phase III, which is slated to get underway later this year. FierceBiotech reported on Monday that the biotech--formed out of the Ilypsa pipeline castoff after Amgen plucked out the lead therapy--had filed papers with the SEC indicating that it had banked the first $50 million from the round.
"Based on the data generated to date in nearly 500 patients, we're optimistic that patiromer can become an important part of improving the standard of care for patients with chronic kidney disease, especially those suffering from diabetic nephropathy," said Jonathan T. Silverstein, a general partner at OrbiMed.
OrbiMed Advisors, 5AM Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners, Sprout Group, Delphi Ventures and Mediphase Venture Partners all added to the round. New investor Sibling Capital stepped in as well. Relypsa was named a Fierce 15 company in 2008 and is currently scouting for regional pacts for patiromer.
- here's the press release

Special Report:
Relypsa - 2008 Fierce 15