Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, recently announced the closing of a $41 million Series C financing round, with proceeds being used to advance the company’s leading product, the G-Pen (glucagon injection) program, for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia.
Xeris is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development and commercialization of injectable drugs formulations. Its proprietary XeriSol™ platform technology has the potential to provide the first stable, soluble, ready-to-inject glucagon for use by people with diabetes and other indications to prevent or manage both moderate and severe hypoglycemia, and to achieve optimal glucose control.
Glucagon is a metabolic hormone secreted by the pancreas that raises blood glucose levels by inducing the liver to convert glycogen — the stored form of glucose — into glucose, which is then released into the bloodstream. Together with insulin, the two are critical hormones in the glycemic control system that keeps blood glucose at optimal levels. In insulin-dependent diabetic patients, the glycemic control system is disrupted, and insulin must be injected prior to meals to avoid high levels of blood glucose (hyperglycemia) or the opposite, hypoglycemia, due to dysregulated glucagon secretion. Severe hypoglycemia may cause seizures, brain injury, and coma.
“The closing of this financing is a significant validation of our formulation technologies and allows us to accelerate Phase 3 clinical and commercialization activities for our G-Pen™ (glucagon injection) program for severe hypoglycemia,” said Xeris Pharmaceuticals’ president and CEO, Douglas R. Baum, in a press release. “This financing also provides funding to develop our chronic glucagon programs.”
Xeris has several other products in development for the long-term administration of glucagon — to prevent and treat hypoglycemia — now under Phase 2 testing. “While the focus is on the G-Pen™ program, we will create additional value by advancing our other glucagon products and by expanding our collaborations with other companies for the application of our formulation technologies to proprietary molecules,” Baum added.
The Series C round was conducted by the Redmile Group with other investors, including newcomers Deerfield Management and Sabby Management, and The McNair Group. In conjunction with the financing, Xeris has appointed Robert Faulkner, Redmile’s managing director, to the company’s Board of Directors.