Published On: Thu, Dec 18th, 2014

Israel’s Nutrina Raises $12 Million for Pre-Term Infant Insulin Treatment


Israeli company Nutrinia, which develops oral insulin therapies to treat rare gastrointestinal disorders, has raised $12 million. The company said that funds from the round will be used to advance two multinational clinical studies to support registration of NTRA-2112 for treating pre-term infants and NTRA-9620 for treating Short Bowel Syndrome in the EU and the United States.

The C round of financing was led jointly by investors OrbiMed, Jacobs Investment Company and Pontifax.

Nutrinia’s drugs are based on insulin, which has been shown to support the maturation and rehabilitation of the gastrointestinal tract. In four separate clinical studies, Nutrinia’s insulin formulation in oral presentation was shown to expedite GI maturity and growth, and improve several other clinical and economic parameters.

“We are very pleased to have these experienced funds join us, ” said Miki Olshansky, Nutrinia’s CEO, “The funding secured will enable the company to expedite clinical and regulatory work towards registration of both indications in Europe and the United States.”

“Preterm Infants’ medical care exceeds 26 Billion dollars annually. Both Preterm and Neonatal Short Bowel Syndrome are true unmet medical needs, which we are targeting at Nutrinia, ” said Ran Nussbaum, managing partner at Pontifax.

Over 100, 000 infants are born at or before 32 weeks gestational age in each of the EU and in USA each year. These Infants are at high risk of morbidities, mostly associated with poor growth, parenteral nutrition dependence and intolerance to nutrition. Growth during the first few weeks of life has a direct impact on the long term prospects of this highly vulnerable population.

“OrbiMed has a long history of investment in orphan drugs, ” said Anat Naschitz, Managing Director at OrbiMed. “We believe Nutrinia represents an attractive investment opportunity and has the potential to help babies thrive.”

“With Nutrinia’s cutting edge products, we have the capability to enhance the future quality of life of infants who would normally be spending more days in the NICU. I welcome two of the leading venture capital funds, Pontifax and OrbiMed, to our investor family. Their commitment to Nutrinia will help change lives, ” said Gary Jacobs, managing director of Jacobs Investment Company.

Nutrinia was founded by Professor Naim Shehade, head of pediatrics at the Rambam Medical center in the NGT incubator, Nazareth, Israel. The company was financed from inception by leading investors Jacobs Investment Company, San Diego and Maabarot group of Israel, as well as additional prominent investors such as Morningside ventures.

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