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Sparrow Pharmaceuticals Secures $50 Million Series A Financing

·3-min read

Names Industry Veteran Robert Jacks as President & CEO

  • OrbiMed leads round

  • Investment includes participation from RiverVest Venture Partners and U.S. Venture Partners

  • Funds will be used to further develop Sparrow Pharmaceuticals’ proprietary HSD-1 inhibitor, SPI-62, for treatment of disorders of corticosteroid excess

Sparrow Pharmaceuticals, an emerging clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, targeted therapies for disorders of corticosteroid excess, today announced the closing of a $50 million Series A financing. OrbiMed led the investment round with participation by RiverVest Venture Partners and U.S. Venture Partners (USVP). This financing will allow the company to accelerate the development of its proprietary oral HSD-1 inhibitor, SPI-62, which targets the source of steroids that cause toxicity in key tissues. Sparrow also announced the appointment of biopharmaceutical industry veteran Robert Jacks as President and Chief Executive Officer.

"Excess corticosteroids can be devastating to patients, leading to poor health outcomes and diminished quality of life, whether the steroids are produced by the body, or administered as a medicine for autoimmune or inflammatory disease," said Mr. Jacks, President and CEO of Sparrow. "With this new financing, we have an opportunity not only to address unmet medical needs in patients suffering from disorders of hypercortisolism, but also to potentially solve the 70-year-old puzzle of how to separate the life-changing efficacy of steroid medicines from their severe side effects."

Sparrow was founded by Dr. David Katz, Chief Scientific Officer of Sparrow, to leverage underappreciated insights in corticosteroid biology. By inhibiting HSD-1, the predominant source of active intracellular steroids in key tissues, SPI-62 can potentially mitigate toxicities, possibly without significantly affecting the efficacy of steroid medicines.

"Sparrow Pharmaceuticals provides an unusual combination of groundbreaking science in a late-stage development opportunity," added Dr. Klaus Veitinger, Chairman of Sparrow and a Venture Partner with OrbiMed. "With several Phase 2 readouts planned within the next few years, Sparrow has an opportunity to demonstrate its value proposition in a relatively short period of time."

Sparrow Pharmaceuticals expects to initiate Phase 2 trials in patients with endogenous Cushing syndrome, autonomous cortisol secretion, and polymyalgia rheumatica in the next 12 months to assess SPI-62’s potential to address the unmet need of patients suffering the devastating effects of corticosteroid excess. To learn more about Sparrow Pharmaceuticals and its pipeline, visit the website at

About Sparrow Pharmaceuticals

Sparrow Pharmaceuticals was founded to spare patients the ravages of steroids. Leveraging underappreciated scientific insights into corticosteroid biology, the company is working to provide better treatment options for serious disorders of hypercortisolism, and to revolutionize the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Its lead product, SPI-62, is an oral, small molecule, novel therapeutic treatment designed to target the source of active intracellular corticosteroids in key tissues.

About OrbiMed

OrbiMed is a leading healthcare investment firm, with over $17 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the healthcare industry through a range of private equity funds, public equity funds, and royalty/credit funds. OrbiMed’s team of over 100 professionals is based in New York City, San Francisco, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Herzliya, and other key global markets.

About RiverVest

RiverVest is a leading venture capital firm building life science companies to address significant unmet needs of patients and deliver consistently strong returns to investors. With headquarters in St. Louis and offices in San Diego and Cleveland, RiverVest accesses forward-thinking research and clinical expertise at leading institutions across the country to found and fund biopharma and medical device companies.

About U.S. Venture Partners

U.S. Venture Partners (USVP) is a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm, partnering with entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into world-changing companies. USVP has invested in over 500 companies spanning four decades. USVP focuses on early-stage start-ups that transform cybersecurity, enterprise software, consumer and healthcare. The USVP team consists of former entrepreneurs, technologists, corporate executives, and financial professionals who assist with strategy, scaling, team building, product development, and business development. USVP is based in Menlo Park, California.

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Terri Clevenger
Westwicke, an ICR Company
203 856-4326

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