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Protagonist Therapeutics Closes 2nd Tranche of $18 Million Series B for Advancing Development Candidate to Clinical Trials in 2015

MILPITAS, Calif., Dec. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the closing of the second tranche of its previously announced $18 Million Series B financing.  The company said these new funds would be used to advance the development of its recently nominated oral development candidate to Investigational New Drug (IND) filing and initiation of Phase 1 clinical trials in the second half of 2015.  Protagonist's development candidate, designated PTG-100, is an orally stable, alpha-4-beta-7 integrin specific antagonist peptide that has the potential of transforming the treatment paradigm for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) through its novel 'oral targeted therapy' approach.

"Alpha-4-beta-7 integrin is a clinically validated therapeutic target for IBD, a group of chronic, debilitating inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which represent major unmet and growing medical needs," said David Liu, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of the Company. "Protagonist has applied its proprietary technology platform to discover novel, potent, target-specific and orally stable peptides against this IBD-specific target. Additionally, Protagonist has validated the critical hypothesis of treating IBD with an oral peptide antagonist with positive outcomes in numerous pharmacodynamic and efficacy studies in animal models of colitis, thereby leading to the nomination of its first development candidate."

"Securing the second tranche of our Series B financing is an acknowledgement of the progress that Protagonist Therapeutics has made in advancing not only the oral integrin blocker PTG-100, but also in creating a pipeline of additional pre-clinical stage assets such as the IL-23 receptor antagonist.  These programs are based on the concept of orally stable peptide therapeutics that have the combined oral stability characteristics of small molecule drugs with the potency and specificity of large biologics in a single new chemical entity (NCE)," said Dinesh V. Patel, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Protagonist Therapeutics.

About Protagonist Therapeutics

Protagonist Therapeutics is a U.S.-incorporated biotechnology company engaged in the discovery and development of 'orally stable peptides' for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and other gastrointestinal diseases and disorders.  The company has an innovative and proprietary technology platform that enables it to develop potent and orally stable peptides against protein-protein interaction (PPI) targets that are undruggable by small molecules and therefore have historically been approached only by 'injectable biologics'.  Oral peptides may lead to a superior and safer choice for IBD patients, physicians, and payers by virtue of their better convenience & compliance, favorable cost of goods, and potentially enhanced safety & efficacy in comparison to the injectable antibodies. The company is currently pursuing the IND-enabling studies of an alpha-4-beta-7 integrin-specific oral peptide antagonist PTG-100 and preclinical lead optimization of an oral IL-23 receptor antagonist as new chemical entities (NCEs) for the 'oral targeted therapy' based treatment of IBD.

Protagonist is a spin-out of University of Queensland's Institute of Molecular Biosciences (IMB) and is headquartered in Milpitas, California USA and with discovery operations both in California and in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. For further information, please visit

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SOURCE Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc.
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