Ebb & Flow
The ability of Britain's Arakis to raise £29 million ($52 million) in a series C round has spurred some sector watchers to wonder if this will encourage a spate of investing in European companies that focus on reformulation, reprofiling, in-licensing and similar activities such as the U.S. has experienced in the last few years.
Arakis is working on new clinical uses for known drugs and drug templates. The potential advantages of this approach are the acceleration of compounds through proof-of-principle, the lowering of risk and a shorter time to market.
But investors have mixed opinions on whether Europe will embrace this type of business model.
"I do not think we will see a growth in similar business models in Europe," said Denise Pollard-Knight of Nomura Phase4, which invested in Arakis. "Arakis has a particularly good opportunity in AD 237, and this is not a niche indication."
AD 237, an inhaled muscarinic receptor antagonist to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has completed Phase IIa studies. It potential could be a follow-on to Spiriva tiotropium, an M3 receptor antagonist co-marketed by Pfizer (PFE) and Boehringer Ingelheim to treat COPD, which was launched in the U.S. in the second quarter.
"I think the pipeline behind AD 237 is also pretty rich," said Nigel Pitchford of 3i Investments, another investor in