Frazier Healthcare leads $90m funding in Phathom Pharmaceuticals

biopharmaceuticals. Credit: Flickr/Laurence Livermore

US-based private equity firm Frazier Healthcare Partners has led a $90-million funding round in Phathom Pharmaceuticals, a new biopharmaceutical startup it co-formed with Japanese drug manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceutical, according to a statement.

The funding round also saw the participation Medicxi, RA Capital Management, Abingworth, certain accounts managed by Janus Henderson Investors, BVF Partners LP, Greenspring Associates, Richard King Mellon Foundation, and Sahsen.

Phathom, which was granted by Takeda with a license for the development and exclusive commercialisation rights to vonoprazan, an orally active potassium competitive acid blocker (P-CAB), also secured a $50-million term loan facility from Silicon Valley Bank.

P-CABs are a class of drug that competitively block the enzyme primarily responsible for acidification of the stomach.

Vonoprazan was discovered and developed by Takeda, which will continue to promote vonoprazan in Japan along with Otsuka. Takeda will continue to market vonoprazan in several Asian markets where it is currently launched (Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand).

“We are excited to have the opportunity to develop vonoprazan for the United States, Europe, and Canada to address this immense unmet need,” said Tachi Yamada, Chairman of Phathom and Venture Partner with Frazier.

David Socks, interim Chief Executive Officer of Phathom and Venture Partner with Frazier, described vonoprazan as a next-generation therapeutic with the potential to make a “profound impact” on the lives of patients with acid-related gastrointestinal disorders.

“We are very pleased with the quality of the investor group participating in this oversubscribed crossover financing,” he said.

Phathom Pharmaceuticals is not the first collaboration between Frazier and Takeda. In 2016, Frazier also led a $41-million Series A funding round in Outpost Medicine, a company it co-formed with the Japanese drug manufacturer.

Takeda, listed in Japan and New York, is a global, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan. It focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Gastroenterology (GI), Neuroscience, and Rare Diseases.