Ascendis Pharma A/S, a Hellerup, Denmark- Palo Alto, California- and Heidelberg, Germany-based biotechnology company, completed a $60m Series D financing.
The round was co-led by U.S.-based Sofinnova Ventures, OrbiMed and Vivo Capital, and included Janus Capital Management LLC, Venrock, RA Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital, Sectoral Asset Management and Paris-based Sofinnova Partners. In conjunction with the financing, James Healy, M.D., Ph.D., of Sofinnova Ventures, Jonathan Silverstein, J.D., of OrbiMed, and Albert Cha, M.D., Ph.D., of Vivo Capital joined the company's board of directors.
Led by Jan Mikkelsen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ascendis Pharma is developing once-weekly TransCon Growth Hormone, an investigational new drug, to address the burden of daily injections and suboptimal treatment outcomes that can result from poor patient compliance. TransCon Growth Hormone is a prodrug that releases unmodified growth hormone, thus maintaining the same mode of action as currently prescribed daily growth hormone therapies.
The company intends to use the funds for late-stage clinical trials of TransCon Growth Hormone for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency, or GHD, and in 2015, to initiate a Phase 1 proof-of-concept program of TransCon Treprostinil to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. Proceeds are also expected to be used to support drug manufacturing, advance the development of preclinical drug candidates, and to enhance the Ascendis Pharma clinical development and research organizations.