Updated 14 October 2015: NuSirt 10/13 reported raising $4MM toward an $8MM goal. May 13, 2015: Earlier media reports indicate that NuSirt was founded in 2010 and, as of Summer 2014, had six employees, including three in Nashville. The following release was submitted by NurSirt. State records online indicate NuSirt earlier receive some funding support from Limestone Fund, the TNInvestco affiliate of Mountain Group Capital.-Ed.
Body of release provided 5/13/15:
NuSirt Biopharma, a company dedicated to improving the lives of those with chronic metabolic diseases, announced it has raised $6 million in Series C financing, of which $2 million has been funded. Hatteras Venture Partners was joined by existing stockholders, including Mountain Group Partners and TriStar Technology Ventures.
NuSirt will use this additional funding to expand research and development of its patented technology, which combines a naturally occurring amino acid, leucine, with existing pharmaceuticals. NuSirt's lead program targets Type 2 diabetes, and the company is in the process of completing a Phase 2A clincal trial enrolling more than 50 subjects. Funding will accelerate a separate product targeting non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), including steatohepatitis (NASH).
"NuSirt's patented technology has the potential to make established pharmaceutical products more effective, allowing a unique approach to helping those with chronic metabolic diseases," said Clay Thorp, general partner at Hatteras Ventures Partners. "This technology, supported by excellent data and a strong intellectual property estate, drew us to the company. Its innovations targeting the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and liver disease hold the promise to improve the lives and health of millions."
"NuSirt's leucine-based technology has great potential to meaningfully lower the effective dosage of medications" said Joe C. Cook Jr., president and executive chairman of NuSirt Biopharma. "Lowering the effective doses of medicines may make it more likely for patients to comply with their doctors' orders and therefore be better able to manage their health conditions."
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and an additiona 86 million age 20 and older have pre-diabetes.
NuSirt's first technology application explores combining leucine with metformin, the most widely-prescribed Type 2 diabetes medication, to control blood sugar. Metformin is effective when taken as directed, but many people who are prescribed the drug experience side effects, such as gastrointestinal issues, muscle pain, fatigue and headaches, which can cause them stop taking it or reduce how much medication they take.
Pre-clinical studies have shown that NuSirt's patented combination of leucine and metformin can amplify metformin's effectiveness while lowering its required dosage. A decreased dosage may reduce the drug's associated side effects and enhance patients' willingness to take it as directed. NuSirt is currently completing a Phase 2A study that is testing whether its technology combining leucine with low doses of metformin can effectively control glucose levels when compared to full dose metformin. Clinical study results are expected this summer.
NuSirt's second program is focused on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that is estimated to affect up to one-third of the general population. NAFLD occurs when fat deposits build up in the liver and prevent the organ from removing toxins in the blood. It is estimated that 10-30 percent of those with NAFLD develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Currently, there are no FDA-approved treatments for NAFLD or NASH.
Pre-clinical conducted by NuSirt have shown its patented technology involving leucine and phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors may be able to reverse NAFLD, reduce symptoms of the disease and prevent the onset of NASH. Pending regulatory feedback, NuSirt plans to initiate a Phase 2A study to evaluate its technology to treat NAFLD and NASH in humans this fall.
NuSirt currently has protected the discovery and commercial application of its technology through an IP portfolio that includes three issued/allowed patents and 9 active patent families.
NuSirt Sciences, Inc., headquartered in Nashville, is dedicated to improving the lives of people living with chronic metabolic diseases. The company has a unique technology platform that uses a patented combination of leucine, an essential amino acid, and existing human medicines targeted at diseases that may be addressed by activating sirtuin pathways. In pre-clinical studies, these combinations have shown promise in preventing and treating metabolic diseases and enhancing the effectiveness of existing pharmaceuticals. [###]