Vast Therapeutics said today that it finished a Series A round with investment from Japan-based Shionogi & Co.
The company plans to use the round’s proceeds to bring their nitric oxide powder technology through preclinical testing and first-in-human clinical safety and efficacy trials.
Vast Therapeutics’ technology, which was in-licensed from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is designed to combat bacteria that cause respiratory infections. The company’s first focus is to develop a nitric oxide-based drug for cystic fibrosis patients who experience chronic pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.
“Our objective is to completely disrupt the paradigm of treating infections. Our technology can solve a major problem at a time when that problem is creating a dire situation for public health,” Vast’s CEO & chairman, Neal Hunter, said in prepared remarks. “We’ve always realized that it would take more than one company to optimize our technology and Shionogi’s commitment to anti-infectives puts them in a small class of larger pharmaceutical companies who have an ability to develop advanced pharmaceutical products and bring them to market quickly.”
“We’ve had a keen interest in nitric oxide technology for some time. In Vast we have found a technology, intellectual property portfolio, and management team that could help us change the anti-infective market,” Dr. Takeshi Shiota, SVP of Shionogi’s pharmaceutical research division, added.
“From our first meeting with Shionogi earlier this summer, we were impressed with their scientific acumen and research-driven approach to drug development. Regarded as one of the top developers of anti-infective products, Shionogi showed us that they were nimble and capable of working with incredible pace and focus making them the right partner to fully develop nitric oxide pulmonary anti-infectives,” said Vast’s director of business development & IP, Kyle Kimble.