Calcimedica announced it has raised $15 million in a Series C financing round. The round was led by Valence Life Sciences, LLC with participation from new investors Bering Capital, Mesa Verde Venture Partners and existing investor Sanderling Ventures. Proceeds from the financing will enable the Company to advance its lead drug candidate, Auxora, a potent and selective small molecule calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel inhibitor that prevents CRAC channel overactivation, while also supporting general corporate purposes.
Data has shown that CRAC channel overactivation can cause pulmonary endothelial damage and cytokine storm in COVID-19. In April of 2020, the FDA approved an IND for the use of Auxora in treating patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. The ongoing open-label randomized controlled clinical study was initially designed to evaluate patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia on low-flow oxygen therapy in one study arm and patients with critical COVID-19 pneumonia on high-flow oxygen therapy in a second study arm. However, in May of 2020, following a strong recommendation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the severe arm of the study was shifted to a blinded, placebo-controlled design, with patients randomized 1:1 to receive Auxora plus standard of care or standard of care alone. Recently reported interim results showed Auxora plus standard of care improved time to recovery and reduced ventilator use in patients compared to standard of care alone.
Commenting on the financing round, Eric Roberts, founding managing director of Valence Life Sciences, said, “As investors, we are always looking for companies that have a strong management team advancing a drug candidate that is critical for patients and can really make a difference. We think CalciMedica’s Auxora fits that description, with the potential to play a role in combating COVID-19, as well as other acute care diseases, like acute pancreatitis, for which it is also advancing in the clinic.”