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GEN News Highlights : Jan 10, 2011

Civitas Raises $20M for Parkinson Disease Program

Company is developing a dry powder pulmonary delivery platform.

Civitas Therapeutics secured a $20 million Series A financing from founding investor, Longitude Capital, along with co-lead Canaan Partners. The proceeds of the financing will be primarily used to advance Civitas’ lead program for treating patients with Parkinson disease through clinical proof-of-concept.

Civitas’ lead program for Parkinson disease has the potential to be used by patients both as an acute rescue therapy for hypomobility episodes and as chronic treatment to minimize response fluctuations. The pulmonary delivery therapy in development by Civitas could assist Parkinson patients who experience unpredictable response fluctuations even after optimizing their oral medication regimen.

The company is a spin-out of Alkermes’ pulmonary delivery business that includes the related technology, pipeline assets, and the commercial-ready manufacturing facility.

Civitas is a privately held pharmaceutical company focused on developing products with a dry powder pulmonary delivery platform. The dry powder and device combination can deliver high, precise doses independent of inspiratory flow rate from a passive device, according to Civitas. The lead program for Parkinson disease with clinical proof-of-concept anticipated to be complete in 2012. Additional programs encompass pulmonary disease, allergy, and pain.