Giiant Pharma announced today that it closed a $11 million seed financing round for its drug delivery technology platform.
Montreal-based Giiant develops the Precision Delivery technology platform, which originated from the work of former Merck Frosst scientists, according to a news release. The company designs gut-restricted, tissue-specific, small-molecule drug therapeutics to be delivered through the platform.
“Precision Delivery is an exciting concept which has the potential to transform the field of gastroenterology,” Giiant Pharma CEO Maxime Ranger said in the release.
The company identified the orally administered, colon-specific PDE4 inhibitor prodrug GT-2108 as a lead candidate for treating inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). GT-2108 has potent anti-inflammatory properties and its prodrug format requires activation by the gut microbiota before the drug can elicit its effects, Giiant said.
With the $11 million in funds raised, Giiant initiated the investigational new drug-enabling preclinical program with GT-2108 for treating moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis. The company is also discussing the potential expansion of its pipeline for treating gastrointestinal disease.
“With a unique ability to deliver an active PDE4 inhibitor to the site of inflammation in the gut, we expect limited systemic exposure and a safer profile,” Giiant Pharma co-founder & chief development officer Dr. Elizabeth Kwong said.
Funds in the seed round came from co-leaders Amplitude Ventures and Genesys Capital, while Fonds de solidarité FTQ, AmorChem II Fund, Theodorus Investment Funds, Anges Québec and other angel investors contributed.