Rivus Pharmaceuticals has raised $132m in a Series B funding round to clinically advance its lead candidate, HU6, for the treatment of obesity and cardio-metabolic disorders.

RA Capital Management led the financing round, which also saw participation from Bain Capital Life Sciences and BB Biotech.

Existing investors of the company, including Longitude Capital, Medicxi and RxCapital, also took part in the round.

A controlled metabolic accelerator (CMA), HU6 can treat cardio-metabolic ailments by addressing obesity, which is a key driver of the diseases.

The CMAs of the company can lower fat throughout the body through mitochondrial uncoupling, a natural process that causes energy regulation.

Rivus previously reported findings from an eight-week Phase IIa metabolic study in obese subjects.

The data established proof of concept that CMAs could potentially treat obesity and various cardio-metabolic ailments, including heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and type 2 diabetes.

In the trial, HU6 treatment also led to a substantial decline in liver, visceral and total body fat while preserving skeletal muscle mass.

A Phase IIa trial was recently launched that enrolled obese subjects with HFpEF while a Phase IIb trial in obesity, including a subset of obese subjects with type 2 diabetes, is planned to begin next year.

Rivus Pharmaceuticals president and CEO Allen Cunningham said: “We have an exceptional group of investors who share our vision for bringing a new class of treatments to patients with obesity and cardio-metabolic disease. 

“Following encouraging data from our Phase IIa clinical trial in patients with obesity, this financing enables us to advance development of HU6 and a pipeline of controlled metabolic accelerators to address a range of cardio-metabolic conditions.”