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Intarcia closed a $215 million financing round, which gives the company a leg up as it preps for the potential approval and commercialization of its diabetes drug-delivering implant. The funding will also support the development of pipeline candidates, including those for obesity and autoimmune disease as well as diabetes.

The $215 million in equity comes in the first close of the round and the company expects a “larger second close” in the fourth quarter, Intarcia said in a statement. According to an SEC Form D, the company is seeking to raise up to $600 million by the end of the year.

Intarcia’s implant uses the company’s Medici Drug Delivery System to continuously deliver ITCA 650, a form of the GLP-1 drug exenatide. The implant is a matchstick-sized osmotic pump implanted beneath the skin, while ITCA 650 is a form of the exenatide that is stable at body temperature. Intended to need replacement only one or twice a year, it could address poor patient adherence.

Ultimately, our goal is to open up a new pathway of delivering once or twice yearly medicines that fundamentally hold the potential to transform therapeutic and economic outcomes over time for millions of patients, and the healthcare system overall,” said Intarcia CEO Kurt Graves in the statement. “At our core, our proprietary Medici Drug Delivery System does this by stabilizing and optimizing the potential of the medicines we develop, enabling the medicine to be delivered just once or twice yearly, and by addressing the massive behavioral challenge of non-adherence with pills and injections that currently impacts the majority of patients in every chronic disease we face.

Intarcia moved into new headquarters earlier this year, with plans to double its employees to 400 by the end of this year, and to 800 in 2017.

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