San Diego Business Journal

San Diego-based Mirum Pharmaceuticals surfaced Nov. 7 with a $120 million Series A round – and plans to take a liver drug candidate into final-stage clinical trials.

Mirum licensed Shire’s Maralixibat, which failed a mid-stage trial – phase 2 – in children with the liver disease Alagille syndrome. But Mirum touted data from a subsequent Phase 2b study. The data will be presented at a liver diseases meeting next year.

“The study leveraged an improved trial design and in its interim analysis, patients taking Maralixibat had reductions in bile acids and pruritus compared to placebo,” said Mike Grey, chairman and CEO of Mirum.

Mirum plans next year to initiate Phase 3 trials of the drug in Alagille syndrome and progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis. The company also sees potential in additional pediatric and adult liver disease indications.

The company that Grey previously led, Lumena, developed Maralixibat. In 2014, Shire acquired Lumena for $260 million.

In exchange for Mirum gaining global licensing rights, Shire will receive an upfront payment, an equity stake in Mirum and potential future milestone payments and royalties.

The round was led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Deerfield Management, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Novo Holdings A/S, Pappas Capital, RiverVest Venture Partners and Rock Springs Capital.