Funds are expected to allow studies up to the completion of Phase I.

Catabasis Pharmaceuticals received a second tranche of $14.5 million in its Series A round. The financing was triggered by the advancement of the company’s lead compound toward clinical trials. In April Catabasis reported completion of a $39.6 million Series A financing.

Proceeds from the second tranche will be used to progress the company’s treatment for type 2 diabetes, CAT1904, into clinical studies by the second half of 2011. The firm will also use the money to advance two additional programs in the areas of metabolic diseases and inflammation.

“These funds will allow us to complete a Phase I study for our type 2 diabetes compound and continue to develop our pipeline,” notes Jill Milne, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO. “We have a rich pipeline of preclinical product candidates that treat a range of diseases that have inflammation as the root cause. We believe that this flexible approach provides a unique opportunity to develop multiple new treatment options for patients as well as strategic partnering opportunities.”

Catabasis’ therapeutic approach targets diseases that are linked by inflammation. It is developing molecules that amplify the beneficial effects of salicylates and omega-3 fatty acids. The company is able to synthesize conjugates of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) fatty acids with other well-known, therapeutically beneficial compounds to produce dual-action drugs.

Catabasis states that its candidates reportedly amplify the demonstrated effects of the original compounds by improving the delivery, potency, and efficacy. Besides CAT1904 for type 2 diabetes, the firm has one other preclinical compound: CAT102 for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, Catabasis has three discovery programs: CAT2000 in dyslipidemia, CAT3000 in dyslipidemia and cardioprotection, and CAT4000 in inflammatory diseases including IBD, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis.

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