A Southlake biotech firm has raised new funding and named a new leader on its path to help treat a disease for which there is currently no cure.
Renibus Therapeutics, which focuses on treatments for acute and chronic kidney diseases, announced closing a $35 million Series A funding round that includes a $15 million extension led by “family offices specializing in biotech investments” to help fuel the development of three of its therapies.
One in seven adults will be affected by kidney disease
According to a CDC report, one in seven U.S. adults will be affected by kidney disease, with no approved therapies for acute injury or chronic disease.
“Renibus has arrived at a critical inflection point in its commitment to transform the prevention and treatment of kidney diseases,” said incoming CEO Frank Stonebanks in a statement.
With the new funding, Renibus is looking to advance its lead therapies through clinical trials. Its portfolio currently includes three treatments One, called RBT-1, is geared toward acute kidney injury and is currently in its first Phase II trial. Another, called RBT-2, is focused on chronic kidney disease and is expected to start Phase I studies later this year. Its third treatment, RBT-3, is aimed at iron deficiency anemia and platinum-based kidney toxicity and is expected to start Phase III developments this year.
“The closing of our $35 million capital raise will accelerate our momentum across the clinical portfolio,” Stonebanks said.
New CEO has led three other biotech companies
As part of the move, Renibus co-founder and former CEO Al Guillem is moving to the executive chairman role as Stonebanks takes on the role of CEO. Before joining the company, Stonebanks served as a venture partner at California early-stage VC firm Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health. In addition to other roles in the VC ecosystem, Stonebanks has led three other biotech companies, two of which he founded. He’s also been serving as an advisor to Renibus.
“Frank brings a proven track record of success leading both public and private companies, as well as notable expertise in the venture capital world, and Renibus will benefit from his leadership as it enters a critical phase,” Guillem said in a statement. “These leadership changes and our recent financing position the company well for continued growth.”
Co-founder’s previous firm was acquired for $2.7B
Guillem helped incorporate Renibus in 2015, the same year his previous business ZS Pharma, which focused on kidney and liver diseases, was acquired by AstraZeneca for $2.7 billion. The year before, ZS went public on the Nasdaq, raising around $112 million at the time.
In July 2020, Renibus amended an SEC filing from 2019 to report raising a total of $19.75 million in equity and other options out of a $35 million offering from 18 investors. As of last July, Guillem said the company had raised a total of about $30 million.
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