Indian pharma major Cipla Limited, has made a $21-million investment in US-based Chase Pharmaceuticals Corporation Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, Cipla (EU) Limited, UK. Chase is an early stage drug development company, based in Washington DC. Chase is focused on developing novel approaches to improve treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. According to the statement, Chase has a unique patented approach and is focused on improving the efficacy, safety and tolerability of existing Alzheimer medications. The $21 million two-phase financing will support Phase 2a and Phase 2b clinical trials for Chase’s lead drug CPC 201.
The original venture funding for Chase was provided by the Brain Trust Accelerator Fund in 2010. In addition to financing Chase, Cipla will collaborate with the company to develop the drug. If successful, Cipla may provide low cost access to Chase’s lead drug in India and South Africa. Cipla – through its impact investment unit Cipla New Ventures – is investing in the Series B round of financing as part of a syndicate, which also consists of Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and New Rhein Healthcare LLC. Subhanu Saxena, MD & Global CEO, Cipla Ltd said: “This investment is consistent with Cipla New Ventures’ mission to build more innovation-led business streams for Cipla in the future. We want to bring affordable medicines, where we identify an unmet patient need, in a way that leverages Cipla’s formidable technology, device and development capabilities.” In India, over 5 million patients suffer from dementia, most of whom are afflicted with Alzheimer’s. These numbers are expected to double by 2030. Shares of Cipla are traded at Rs 385, down by 1.92% on BSE.