Capital will fund combination bronchodilator COPD therapeutic Phase IIb studies.

Pearl Therapeutics reports raising $69 million through a Series C financing. The money will allow the company to complete the Phase IIb program for lead product, PT003. The drug candidate is a combination bronchodilator comprising glycopyrrolate, a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), and formoterol, a well-known long-acting B2-agonist (LABA), delivered via a hydrofluoroalkane metered-dose inhaler (MDI) for the treatment of patients with COPD.

“We have initiated a comprehensive Phase IIb clinical program for PT003, including an ongoing Phase IIb dose-ranging study that compares PT003 against Boehringer Ingelheim’s Spiriva® as well as four additional studies, which we plan to commence in the first half of 2011,” says Howard B. Rosen, interim president and CEO of Pearl Therapeutics. 

Dr. Rosen says that PT003 is the only dual long-acting rapid bronchodilator LAMA-LABA combination product in an MDI formulation that is being tested for the treatment of patients with COPD. If all goes well, Pearl expects to initiate Phase III trials in late 2012.

The financing round was led by Vatera Healthcare Partners and included existing investors Clarus Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners, and 5AM Ventures. With this capital infusion, Pearl will have raised a total of $102.5 million since 2007.

In connection with the financing, Vatera Holdings managing director, Sundar Kodiyalam, joined the Pearl board of directors. Additionally, Vatera Holdings’ executive-in-residence, Thomas Koestler, the former president of Schering-Plough Research Institute until its acquisition by Merck & Co., has been appointed as a board observer.

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