PhD, Director Therapeutic Innovation and BaseLaunch
Tel. +41 61 295 50 17stephan. emmerth@baselarea. swiss
Mirum Pharmaceuticals is the most recent newcomer to the Basel ecosystem. The biotech company launched in San Francisco in 2018 and opened their European office in Basel early in 2019. Mirum focuses on therapies for orphan liver diseases, especially for rare pediatric conditions.
During a well-attended event in April, organized by BaselArea.swiss, Chris Preetz, CEO of Mirum Pharmaceuticals, told the story of building the company and raising 120 million dollars to develop therapies for rare liver disease.
Chris Preetz shared results of the clinical trials with the audience and explained the history of the company: Mirum licensed Maralixibat from Shire for treatment of Alagille syndrome (ALGS) and progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC), both debilitating genetic liver disorders affecting primarily children. Maralixibat is a phase 3-ready Apical Sodium-dependent Bile acid Transporter Inhibitor. Shire, on the other hand, had acquisitioned Lumena Pharmaceuticals in 2014 - a company that was led by Mike Grey, the executive chairman of Mirum Pharmaceuticals. A second drug is Volixibat that Mirum plans to develop in adult liver diseases.
In 2018, New Enterprise Associates led the Series A for Mirum Pharmaceuticals and secured 120 million US dollars. Deerfield Management, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Novo Holdings, Pappas Capital, RiverVest Ventures and Rock Springs Capital participated in the financing round.
The decision to build a European business hub in Basel was determined by an extensive check list that emphasized on access to talent: “Basel met all the key parameters,” Chris Preetz said during the event.
Text by Annett Altvater