Areteia Therapeutics, Inc. announced its launch as a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on putting asthma patients in better control of their disease – and back in control of their lives – with the first potential oral therapy for eosinophilic asthma. Areteia’s lead drug candidate is dexpramipexole, a first-in-class oral eosinophil maturation inhibitor.

Areteia was created by Population Health Partners and Knopp Biosciences. A syndicate of leading life sciences and strategic investors led by Bain Capital Life Sciences with participation from Access Biotechnology, GV, ARCH Venture Partners, Saturn Partners, Sanofi, Maverick Capital, and Population Health Partners, has committed to invest up to $350 million in Series A financing to establish Areteia and advance dexpramipexole through Phase 3 clinical trials, secure commercial supply, and pursue potential next-generation medicines. Knopp, which previously owned and conducted early-stage development of dexpramipexole, contributed the lead investigational drug and related assets to Areteia in connection with the transaction.

Jorge Bartolome, a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive with more than 25 years of industry experience, has been appointed Areteia’s Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Bartolome served as the President of Canada for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Before that, he served as Senior Vice President of the US Respiratory Business Unit of GlaxoSmithKline plc, where he led a period of rapid expansion, including the commercialization and launch of an industry leading portfolio of asthma therapeutics.

“Asthma is a common disease with a high unmet need and significant impact on the health and lives of millions of patients around the world,” says Bartolome. He added, “I am excited to partner with an expert team of drug developers to advance the first-ever oral treatment for eosinophilic asthma on behalf of these patients.”

“The Founders and Board of Knopp Biosciences are delighted to see dexpramipexole move forward into Phase 3 development with a significant funding commitment led by Bain Capital Life Sciences, and in the experienced hands at Areteia and Population Health Partners,” said Michael Bozik, M.D., President, Biohaven Labs, and the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Knopp.