La Jolla, California-based Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has reportedly raised $25 million in a Series D venture financing round that included investors Panorama Capital, CMEA Capital and Sloan Biotech Fund. The biopharmaceutical company indicated that it will use the funds “to advance the development of its portfolio of drug molecules, particularly the Phase 3 development of its lead molecule, SD-809, expected to begin in the first half of 2013. Auspex has developed SD-809 for the treatment of hyperkinetic movement disorders including Huntington’s disease, Tourette syndrome and tardive dyskinesia.” It characterizes SD-809 as “a novel inhibitor of the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT-2).”
The company uses deuterium in medicinal chemistry to develop products with improved safety, reduced drug-drug interactions and less frequent dosing. Also in the Auspex pipeline are “SD-900, a JAK kinase inhibitor for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, and SD-560, for the treatment of fibrotic diseases.” Auspex CEO Lawrence Fritz said, “This new financing round provides resources for the pivotal trial of SD-809 in Huntington’s disease and for the acceleration of this compound’s development in additional movement disorders.” See Auspex Pharmaceuticals Press Release, November 8, 2012.