Elcelyx Therapeutics has secured $20 million in Series C financing to fund clinical trials of its Lovidia over-the-counter weight loss product, and NewMet for Type 2 diabetes. Elcelyx has raised a total of $43 million since it was founded in 2010 and advanced its two first-in-class Gut Sensory Modulators (GSM) for the treatment of diabetes and weight loss into late-stage clinical development.
The financing was led by GSM Fund LLC, a fund dedicated to this single investment and managed by Rick Barry, who was elected to the Elcelyx Board of Directors. All previous investors also participated in the round, including Morgenthaler Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Technology Partners.
Lovidia, a proprietary mix of Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)-designated dietary ingredients, is targeted to the consumer market. Lovidia can be used for multiple applications including as an over-the-counter product for weight loss and metabolic health, and as a food additive for satiety and lower glycemic index. An early version of Lovidia demonstrated statistically significant progressive and sustained weight loss without diet or exercise modification. Lovidia increases the body’s production of natural satiety and gluco-regulatory gut hormones twofold; with the same number of calories, subjects in clinical trials had twice the satiety signal.
Pharmaceutical product candidate NewMet is a delayed-release formulation of generic metformin, the #1 diabetes product in the world. By targeting this GSM to the lower gut and avoiding systemic absorption, NewMet is designed to have low bioavailability with preserved efficacy. In a recently completed Phase 2a clinical study in patients with Type 2 diabetes, NewMet met the primary endpoint of lowered glucose and demonstrated improved tolerability compared to generic metformin.