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Nutrinia pulls in $12 mln Series C

Nutrinia has closed $12 million in Series C funding. OrbiMed, Jacobs Investment Company and Pontifax led the round. Based in Ramat-Gan, Israel, Nutrinia develops oral insulin therapies that treat rare gastrointestinal disorders in babies.

PRESS RELEASE

RAMAT-GAN, Israel, December 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –Nutrinia, a leader in developing oral insulin therapies to treat rare gastrointestinal disorders in babies, today announced the successful completion of a $12 million round of funding. The C round of financing was led jointly by internationally renowned investors OrbiMed, Jacobs Investment Company and Pontifax. Funds from the round will be used to advance two multinational clinical studies to support registration of NTRA-2112 for treating pre-term infants and NTRA-9620 for treating Short Bowel Syndrome in the EU and the United States.

Nutrinia’s drugs are based on insulin, which has been shown to support the maturation and rehabilitation of the gastrointestinal tract. In four separate clinical studies, Nutrinia’s insulin formulation in oral presentation was shown to expedite GI maturity and growth, and improve several other clinical and economic parameters.

“We are very pleased to have these experienced funds join us,” said Miki Olshansky, Nutrinia’s CEO, “The funding secured will enable the company to expedite clinical and regulatory work towards registration of both indications in Europe and the United States.”

“Preterm Infants’ medical care exceeds 26 Billion dollars annually. Both Preterm and Neonatal Short Bowel Syndrome are true unmet medical needs, which we are targeting at Nutrinia,” said Ran Nussbaum, managing partner at Pontifax.

Treating Premature Infants
Over 100,000 infants are born at or before 32 weeks gestational age in each of the EU and in USA each year. These Infants are at high risk of morbidities, mostly associated with poor growth, parenteral nutrition dependence and intolerance to nutrition. Growth during the first few weeks of life has a direct impact on the long term prospects of this highly vulnerable population, with examples including neurodevelopment and morbidities such as deafness and blindness.

“OrbiMed has a long history of investment in orphan drugs,” said Anat Naschitz, Managing Director at OrbiMed. “We believe Nutrinia represents an attractive investment opportunity and has the potential to help babies thrive.”

Treating Short Bowel Syndrome in Infants
Nutrinia has an additional program that promotes enteral nutrition in infants with Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS), a malabsorption disorder. Approximately 2,500 infants suffer from SBS annually in the US. These infants rely on long term parenteral nutrition support that puts them at risk of liver disease, line infections and other complications. Moreover, parenteral nutrition is extremely costly: The annual cost of parenteral nutrition is estimated at $180,000 to $570,000.

“With Nutrinia’s cutting edge products, we have the capability to enhance the future quality of life of infants who would normally be spending more days in the NICU. I welcome two of the leading venture capital funds, Pontifax and OrbiMed, to our investor family. Their commitment to Nutrinia will help change lives,” said Gary Jacobs, managing director of Jacobs Investment Company.

ABOUT NUTRINIA
Nutrinia (http://www.nutrinia.com) is developing formulated oral insulin for gut maturation, focusing on dual orphan drug indications – premature infants and short bowel disease. The company was founded by Professor Naim Shehade, head of pediatrics at the Rambam Medical center in the NGT incubator, Nazareth, Israel. The company was financed from inception by leading investors Jacobs Investment Company, San Diego and Maabarot group of Israel, as well as additional prominent investors such as Morningside ventures.

ABOUT ORBIMED
OrbiMed (http://www.orbimed.com ) is a leading investment firm dedicated exclusively to the healthcare sector, with approximately $13 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the spectrum of healthcare companies, from venture capital start-ups to large multinational companies. OrbiMed’s team of more than 80 employees manages a series of private equity funds, public equity funds, royalty/debt funds and other investment vehicles. OrbiMed maintains its headquarters in New York City, with additional offices in Herzliya, San Francisco, Shanghai and Mumbai. OrbiMed Israel Partners was launched in 2011 with $222 million in committed capital and focuses on Israeli opportunities.

ABOUT JACOBS INVESTMENT COMPANY
Jacobs Investment Company LLC, founded in 1997, has invested over $100 million in a wide variety of projects in the United States, Israel, Mexico and Switzerland. The portfolio consists of venture capital funds, life sciences and medical device business incubator, private equity, real estate and minor and major league sports teams. The Jacobs Investment Company team provides hands on involvement to help our entrepreneurs have the best opportunity for commercial success.

ABOUT PONTIFAX
Pontifax is a venture capital investor focusing on the Israeli life sciences sector. The fund is involved in multiple late stage companies as well as early stage projects, with an emphasis towards biotechnology projects. Pontifax Venture capital fund was founded 2005 by Eli Hurvitz, Tomer Kariv and Ran Nussbaum with over forty successful investments to date.