- Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, an MIT start-up founded in 2003, has secured $30 million in venture-backed debt from Hercules Capital, the company announced on Tuesday.
- The company seeks to advance its pipeline of drugs developed on the ZipDose platform, a 3-D printing technology for manufacturing fast-melt orodispersible products.
- The FDA approved Aprecia's first 3-D printed pharmaceutical product, Spritam, in August 2015. The company has three other candidates in the pipeline, with the two most advanced candidates at the formula development stage.
This is the second large financing secured by the Pennsylvania start-up this year for the development and commercialization of 3-D printed products.
In January, Aprecia completed a $35 million preferred stock financing deal with Deerfield Management Company. The money was earmarked for commercialization of Spritam, which reached U.S. pharmacies in March, but Aprecia also hopes to use that funding to develop its early-stage pipeline of three other orodispensible drugs.
Although the company eventually seeks to diversify its portfolio of orodispensible drugs across various therapeutic areas, their current focus is on developing central nervous system (CNS) drugs.
"Historically, 40% of the sales revenues achieved by fast-melt solid oral dosage formulation in the US were from products with CNS indications, which convinced us that physician-specialists in this therapeutic category saw potential value of such dosage forms from a medication-adherence improvement perspective," Don Wetherhold, CEO of Aprecia, told BioPharma Dive in May.
Although Spritam’s active ingredient, levetiracetam, has been generic since 2008, Aprecia uses 3-D printing to create a highly porous pill which disintegrates on the tongue when taken with water.
The availability of additional funding through the latest deal will help support development efforts for Aprecia's pipeline and help commercialization efforts for Spritam. Aprecia has already received $20 million of the financing upfront, with an additional $10 million in milestone payments.