Prota Therapeutics Pty Ltd (Prota), an Australian biotechnology company focused on the development of novel oral immunotherapy treatments that induce remission of allergy, has on Tuesday announced financing of $21 million in equity and debt financing.

The round, led by Singapore-based SPRIM Global Investments (SGI), will help the company prepare for a Phase 3 clinical investigation of the company’s PRT120 oral therapy for peanut allergy, Prota said in a statement.

According to the statement, the new investment will advance the chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC), accelerate the path to an Investigational New Drug Application (IND), and expand Prota’s executive management team to bring on board critical expertise in late-stage drug development and commercialization.

“SPRIM brings valuable expertise, capabilities and an international investment network to Prota’s technology and clinical program,

“This partnership and funding will accelerate Prota’s drug development plans and clinical trial program, and we look forward to this strategic collaboration as Prota moves toward its Phase 3 trial,” said Prota Executive Chairman Kelly Constable.

Meanwhile, Australian venture capital firm OneVentures Founding Partner and Director Dr. Paul Kelly said that closing financing in the current market validates the potential of Professor Mimi Tang’s technology to deliver meaningful outcomes for patients with peanut allergy, where there is a persistent unmet need.

“Prota’s treatment offers the promise of an induction of remission of allergy, allowing patients to eat peanuts freely and enjoy an improved quality of life,” he added.

According to the statement, the peanut allergy therapeutics market is projected to reach $1 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual rate of 10 percent, in part due to the increasing incidence of peanut allergy globally.

In the United States, peanut allergy is the most prevalent food allergy in children, affecting 2.5 percent of children.

The most significant impact of food allergy on both patients and their families is a reduced quality-of-life and psychological distress, caused by the lifestyle and dietary restrictions of allergen avoidance and the unpredictability of reactions to accidental exposures.

Prota’s technology is based on over 15 years of research led by its Founder professor Mimi Tang at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI).

“Our Phase 2b multicenter randomized controlled trial conducted by MCRI showed that PRT120 is highly effective at inducing remission of allergy, and more importantly, leads to significant and clinically meaningful improvement in quality of life, compared with standard care (placebo treatment),” said Tang.

According to her, the long-term follow-up data further shows that children in remission have fewer reactions, less rescue epinephrine use, and far greater improvement in quality of life than children who are only desensitized, validating remission as the patient-preferred outcome.

SGI Managing Partner and Co-Founder Michael Shleifer said that the food immunotherapy market is expanding rapidly with a range of therapies currently in early- through late-stage development.

“We are excited to support Prota in its journey to deliver a solution that can potentially transform the treatment of peanut allergy by releasing patients from the shackles of life-long maintenance dosing and allergen avoidance,” he added.

Prota Therapeutics is an Australian proprietary limited, privately-held biotech company established in 2016 to develop and commercialize novel oral immunotherapy treatments for food allergy.

Prota holds intellectual property covering the proprietary food immunotherapy technology developed at the MCRI.

The company is, in part, a OneVentures’ Healthcare Fund III investment.

This fund was established with investment in part from the Australian Commonwealth Government through the BioMedical Translation Fund initiative.

Prota Therapeutics has its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia.

SGI is a leading health sciences venture capital firm with deep industry expertise and decades of operating experience across 17 countries.

The firm invests in biotechnology, digital health and research and development (R&D) service companies to commercialize the newest technologies and accelerate innovations that are the future of health around the world.

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