Thanks to a $77.5M Series B, Escient moves into the clinic with the first of its sensory receptor candidates

Back to Team

A little over two years after emerging from stealth, Escient Pharmaceuticals is back Monday with a new fundraising round and their first clinical trial.

The San Diego-based biotech announced a $77.5 million Series B and a Phase I/Ib study for their EP547 program, which is aiming to treat the neurological “itch” that can manifest when bile and waste products are backed up in the liver and kidneys, respectively. This would be the first in what CEO Alain Baron hopes is a long line of Mas-related G protein-coupled receptor candidates.

“We should have an IND on average once every year and a half or so,” Baron said. “So it allows us to develop the value of some of these early targets and create optionality for us to move the company forward in a number of ways, and of course we’ll be data-driven.”