Austin-based Xeris raises $17.9 million to boost development

Jan 8, 2015
Austin American Statesman

Austin-based Xeris Pharmaceuticals has raised $17.9 million to speed up development of its treatments for diabetes and other diseases

The company is working to commercialize its Glucagon Rescue Pen, which uses a pre-loaded auto-injector that simplifies injection treatments for diabetics

Xeris also is developing the G-Pen Mini, which allows for treatment of moderate hypoglycemia without requiring a diabetic patient to ingest additional calories

The investment included $13 million in cash and $4.9 million in converted debt. The company, which has raised a total of $25.4 million, did not disclose its investors

Founded in 2005 in San Francisco, Xeris moved to Austin in 2010 to reduce operating costs, collaborate with university researchers and tap into the startup investment community

The company previously received grants from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund and the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health

In November, Xeris received orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the company’s drug, soluable glucagon

The drug would be used for the prevention of severe, persistent hypoglycemia in patients with congenital hyperinsulinism

The FDA grants orphan drug designation to novel drugs that show promise in the treatment of rare diseases or conditions affecting fewer than 200,000 patients in the United States. The status allows companies to expedite clinical development and receive other benefits

During its development process, Xeris, has collaborated with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas at Austin

Yash Sabharwal, Xeris’ chief operating officer, said the new funding will help the 13-person company get to market sooner

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