Private investors have finally backed Mapi Pharma’s project with €9.1M. Shavit Capital has led the Series A financing round to support the company’s clinical development plans. The cash raised is sufficient to advance the company’s lead product Glatiramer Acetate (GA) Depot to its Phase III.

The Israeli company has a bitter record of failed NASDAQ listings. The company tried to raise cash on the American stock market twice last year, but both operation were aborted. After the public investors’ rejection, the biotech company has now turned to private capitalists that have finally come to Mapi’s aid.

Shavit Capital has led the investment round of €9.1M, that will help Mapi to take its lead product to Phase III. The drug candidate, Glatiramer Acetate (GA) Depot, consists in a once every four weeks injection to cure multiple sclerosis, currently at Phase II clinical trial.

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The Israeli company is not giving up and its product could reach the market by 2019. The multiple sclerosis market is, however, already occupied with Biogen and TEVA’s respective products. In fact, Mapi’s candidate is a derived version of TEVA’s Copaxone, in which Ehud Marom, founder and CEO of Mapi Pharma, worked during his time at TEVA.

Mapi’s innovation relies on the depot formulation that allows a single monthly injection. Depot delivery systems are non-digestive formulations that contain multiple doses of a drug. The system is designed to release the drug over a specified, often prolonged, period of time. This way, it is possible to overcome several challenges often associated with conventional digestive delivery, such as variations in drug plasma levels between doses that can lead to adverse effects or compromised efficacy, poor patient compliance due to frequent dosing, and difficulty localizing exposures to the target organ or tissue.

Through GA Depot’s Phase III, Mapi is facing the challenge of convincing public investors that its Depot system has a chance in the already-busy multiple sclerosis market.

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