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Aardvark Therapeutics Completes $85 Million Oversubscribed Series C Round of Funding, Aiming to Advance ARD-101 for Hyperphagia in Patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome


Led by Decheng Capital, the successful round of funding also included participation from investors such as Cormorant Asset Management, Surveyor Capital, and the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research.

Medical concept meaning Prader-Willi syndrome with inscription on the page. Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/Yurii Kibalnik

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/Yurii Kibalnik

Aardvark Therapeutics announced a successful close to its $85 million Series C round of funding. With Decheng Capital leading the charge, this round also included support from Cormorant Asset Management, Surveyor Capital, and the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. As a part of leading the investment, Victor Tong, Jr., managing director, Decheng Capital, has joined Aardvark’s Board of Directors.

According to the company, the funding will be primarily used to continue supporting its lead drug candidate ARD-101, a potential treatment for treating hyperphagia in patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). Additionally, the treatment aims to demonstrate a unique mechanism of action that complements existing GLP-1 therapies for obesity.1

"We believe our lead compound, ARD-101, is a well-differentiated first-in-class drug candidate that is orthogonal and complementary to existing obesity drugs and reduces hunger through the selective induction of gut-brain signaling,” said Tien Lee, MD, CEO, Aardvark Therapeutics, in a press release. “The novel mechanism of action and gut-restricted nature of ARD-101 contribute to its encouraging safety and tolerability profile, as well as its broad-spectrum of activity. We are excited that our new and existing investors share our vision of ARD-101's potential therapeutic impact and the relevance of TAS2R receptors as unique pharmaceutical targets."

Last June, Aarkvark announced promising results from Phase II clinical data for ARD-101. The data were collected from three different studies evaluating general obesity, PWS, and post-bariatric surgery. In all three arms of the study, there was a consistent reduction in hunger scores compared to relying on a placebo. Further, 11 of 12 patients with PWS demonstrated a reduction in hyperphagia in only 28 days.2

"We are truly encouraged by the early findings of the ongoing trial of ARD-101 in young adults with PWS, which have shown marked decreases in hunger and food-seeking behavior in several treated individuals,” said Theresa Strong, PhD, director of research programs, the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR), in a press release. “Based on these promising findings, the FDA has already granted ARD-101 Orphan Drug Designation and Rare Pediatric Disease Designation. With the FDA's guidance and the now secured funds, our PWS community is looking forward to a rapid expansion of the clinical evaluation of ARD-101 in the hope of bringing this novel oral drug to patients in need."

According to the FPWR, PWS occurs in about one out of every 15,000 births and effects both males and females at the same rate. Typically, symptoms change over time, with babies experiencing issues with breast feeding, toddlers gaining weight rapidly, and an unregulated appetite beginning in childhood to adulthood. If not monitored, individuals with PWS will overeat as a result of being unable to control their food intake.3

"Decheng Capital is thoroughly impressed by Aardvark's pioneering work with bitter taste receptor agonists to develop new targeted therapies for Prader-Willi Syndrome and other metabolic disorders. The Aardvark management team has laid a strong foundation for the ARD-101 program. We are excited to work closely with the Aardvark team to advance its clinical programs, aiming to overcome the challenges associated with Prader-Willi syndrome,” wrote Decheng Captial, in the press release.


1. Aardvark Therapeutics Announces $85 Million Oversubscribed Series C Financing. PR Newswire. May 9, 2024. Accessed May 10, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aardvark-therapeutics-announces-85-million-oversubscribed-series-c-financing-302140094.html

2. Aardvark Therapeutics Reports Positive Phase II Clinical Data for ARD-101. PR Newswire. June 12, 2023. Accessed May 10, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aardvark-therapeutics-reports-positive-phase-ii-clinical-data-for-ard-101-301848268.html?tc=eml_cleartime

3. What is Prader-Willi Syndrome? FPWR. Accessed May 10, 2024. https://www.fpwr.org/what-is-prader-willi-syndrome#definition

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