Acer Therapeutics Closes $4.1 Million Series A Financing, Forms Board of Directors and Advances Lead Development Programs.
CAMBRIDGE, MA, July 1, 2015 – Acer Therapeutics Inc., a pharmaceutical company developing therapies for serious rare diseases with significant unmet medical need, closed its Series A round with $4.1 million. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the development of a proprietary, taste-masked, immediate-release formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate, ACER-001, for maple syrup urine disease (MSUD), a rare, devastating genetic disease which prevents the proper metabolism of three essential, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) – leucine, isoleucine and valine. The Series A financing was led by TVM Capital Life Science.
Acer has also formed its Board of Directors. Cynthia Lavoie, Ph.D., General Partner at TVM, joined the Board in March 2015, and two other independent members joined in October 2015: Stephen Aselage, CEO of Retrophin and former Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer of BioMarin; and John Dunn, former Managing Director of Biogen-Idec Ventures, and General Counsel, IDEC Pharmaceuticals.
Beyond ACER-001, Acer is also advancing ACER-002 (celiprolol hydrochloride), a new chemical entity (NCE), for the treatment of vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (vEDS). In people with vEDS, mutations in the COL3A1 gene for type III procollagen lead to a deficit of collagen synthesis. This rare and lethal form of EDS causes catastrophic, vascular complications, and is associated with ruptured blood vessels, aneurysms, dissections, fistulas and spontaneous ruptures of the uterus and gastrointestinal structures. There are currently approximately 2,000 people in the U.S. diagnosed with vEDS, though experts estimate as many as 5,000 patients may be affected.1
1. Pepin MG, et al. Survival is affected by mutation type and molecular mechanism in vascular Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS type IV) Genet Med. 16: 881-888.