Top News: Crinetics raises $63.5 million in new funds and adds to BOD

Crinetics has completed a $63.5 million Series B financing to continue development of its lead product for acromegaly and other new therapeutics targeting rare endocrine disorders. This funding was led by Perceptive Advisors, a New York biotech fund, and was joined by two other new investors, RA Capital and OrbiMed. The financing round also included existing investors 5AM Ventures, Versant Ventures, and Vivo Capital.

Crinetics lead program, CRN00808, focuses on developing an oral alternative to injections for patients suffering from acromegaly. This rare condition is often caused by the presence of a pituitary tumor, which causes production of too much growth hormone. The excessive hormone level causes several co-morbidities and if not adequately treated, acromegaly can lead to serious illness and become life-threatening.

FierceBiotech explains the importance of developing an oral therapeutic for this disease, “Surgery to remove the tumor is generally the first-line treatment option, but doesn’t always work. And while these non-responders can often be treated with injectables, they face lifelong injections and many face breakthrough symptoms as these drugs wear off between shots.”

Xconomy noted that Crinetics has focused its technology on targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which sets the foundation for the Company’s other programs which aim to develop therapeutics for patients with rare disorders such as neuroendocrine tumors, hyperinsulinism, and Cushing’s disease. GPCRs can interact with and are modulated by neuropeptides, molecules that help nerve cells communicate. Too much or too little of these neuropeptides can incorrectly alter GPCR activity to result in the symptoms associated with these diseases. The Crinetics team has specialized expertise in modulating GPCR activity to achieve the correct level of signaling while reducing the desensitization to injected drugs seen by many patients with neuroendocrine disorders.

In addition to the financing, Crinetics has also welcomed three new members to its board of directors. BioSpace reported, “As part of the financing, two members of the Perceptive Advisors team have been appointed to the Crinetics Board of Directors. Weston Nichols, an analyst, and Matthew K. Furst, who has served as Senior Advisor for Perceptive, have taken the board positions. Another board change includes the departure of Vivo Capital’s Mahendra G. Shah. He will be replaced by Jack B. Nielsen, a managing director at Vivo”

Read more about this financing round and new board members at Endpoints News and BioCentury Extra.

Crinetics CEO Talks with Pituitary World News About the Importance of Patient Advocacy in Developing New Medicines

Our founder and CEO, Scott Struthers, Ph.D., spoke with J D Faccinetti for a podcast for Pituitary World News, looking into the world of new drug discovery and development for acromegaly and other endocrine diseases.

In the beginning of the podcast, Dr. Struthers talks a little bit about his background and how he began his career in endocrine science, as well as the founding of Crinetics.

Did you know Crinetics was a bootstrap company when it started and that we’d stored surplus lab equipment in our garages before we ever opened our first lab?

The most significant part of the podcast is the discussion of CRN00808, Crinetics’ clinical candidate for acromegaly as well as new drugs in development for hyperinsulinism and Cushing’s disease. Dr. Struthers provides the history of discovering CRN00808 and the current status of the drug in Phase 1 trials.

More importantly, Dr. Struthers says, “Drug discovery is a partnership between scientists, doctors, and patients. Without the patients helping and providing input and testing these new agents, we can’t get anywhere.”

Next year, Crinetics will be looking for the help of the global acromegaly community to evaluate CRN00808 in a Phase 2 clinical trial, including patients who are not well controlled with the current standard of care.

Dr. Struthers will be traveling around the world next year. If you would like to connect with him during his travels, or if you are in San Diego, please let us know.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Crinetics raises $40 Million

November 2, 2015 — Seeking to get its first drug ready for human testing, San Diego biotech Crinetics Pharmaceuticals has raised $40 million in venture capital funding. Crinetics is developing a drug to treat acromegaly, a rare endocrine disorder caused by overproduction of human growth hormone in adults. It can raise the risk of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, erectile dysfunction and menstrual abnormalities. Read the full article here.

Xconomy: Crinetics Pharma Raises $40M in Comeback for Ex-Neurocrine Bio Team

November 2, 2015 — After spending the past six years scavenging for lab equipment and operating on a shoestring, San Diego’s Crinetics Pharmaceuticals has finally landed its first round of institutional funding. The startup, which is developing new oral drugs for treating an array of endocrine disorders, said today it has raised a $40 million Series A financing led by 5AM Ventures, Versant Ventures, and Vivo Capital. Read the full article here.

Crinetics Featured in Public Radio Story about The Michelson Prize and Grants

September 24, 2014 — KPCC, the public radio station in Pasadena, recently did a story on the work to help humanely curb the excess population of feral cats and dogs in the Los Angeles area. The Found Animals Foundation is featured, including the efforts of the Michelson Prize and Grants Program, which Crinetics has received some of our funding from. A couple of us at Crinetics were interviewed for the story and are quoted both in the audio and accompanying article found here. Read the full article here.