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Post: Dutch-based Orexa raises €870K to develop therapeutics to increase food intake



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Herpen, the Netherlands-based Orexa, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, announced on Wednesday, January 31, that it has secured €870K from new as well as existing investors. 

The announcement comes over one year after raising €485K in a funding round last year. To date, the company has raised €3.3M in funding. 

“Thanks to both new and existing investors, we have been able to lay a solid foundation for the execution of our clinical program,” says CEO Sake Stevenhaagen. “This puts us in a good position for further developments.”

The Dutch company will use the capital to fund two phase 2 clinical trials further. 

The first study dosed the first patient and aimed to prevent postoperative ileus. The second is a phase 2 study for anorexia nervosa patients.

To investigate the efficacy of Orexa’s lead compound ORE-001, Orexa intends to conduct three phase 2 clinical trials in different indications.

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The first study aims to determine if patients who undergo major abdominal surgery develop fewer gastrointestinal disturbances and recover more quickly. It focuses on preventing postoperative ileus.

This study’s first of 100 to 120 patients was dosed on January 11, 2024. 

The second phase 2 clinical trial will take place in anorexia patients, with the dosing of the first patient foreseen in Q2-’24. 

Finally, a third phase 2 study is being prepared aimed at people with malnutrition (sarcopenia/cachexia).

“Now that the patients in our first phase 2 clinical trial are being treated, and the treatment of patients in our second phase 2 clinical trial is expected to follow next quarter, our clinical program is starting to take shape,” says Prof. Dr. Ard Peeters. “We are now in the most exciting phase of the development of a new drug. By conducting these studies, we will find out whether the mechanism of action works in patients and which patient groups could benefit most.

What does Orexa solve?

Undernutrition is a serious clinical complication, says Orexa. The majority of medical treatments are highly dependent on food intake. Proper food intake improves patients’ physical conditions and the tolerability of treatments, and shortens recovery time. 

As a result, the company has developed proprietary pharmacological interventions for treating diseases and medical problems related to human food intake and retention.

Orexa: Developing medicines to increase food intake for healthy living

Founded in 2016 by Prof Dr Ard Peeters, Orexa is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company that creates treatments to boost food consumption. 

Its main ingredient is a human-use oral formulation that is proprietary and based on a well-known anaesthetic.

Peeters discovered that food intake is changed by the local administration of anaesthetics in the stomach. He expected the food intake to decrease, but to his surprise, he found out that the test animals ate more.

The effect has been experimented with in dozens of animal studies and healthy volunteers, claims the company. As a result, it has been patented, and Orexa has filed a patent for an innovative tablet formulation. 

Orexa focuses primarily on the recovery of patients who have undergone surgery, anorexia patients, and older adults with malnutrition (sarcopenia). 

Lora Helmin

Lora Helmin

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