DURHAM – Aerami Therapeutics, formerly known as Dance Biopharm Holdings Inc., has raised $4.6 million in equity, according to a securities filing.

Sixty-one investors contributed to the round, which is capped at $15 million with $10.4 million remaining to be sold.

Proceeds will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, the filing noted. That includes officer and employee salaries and director fees. A portion of proceeds will also be used to compensate the placement agent.

Durham-based Aerami Therapeutics is working on an insulin inhaler for Type 2 diabetes patients.

The Dance inhaler

Last September, the company reported that data from its Phase 2 clinical study of Dance 501, a novel gentle mist formulation of human insulin administered with its smart inhaler, showed it had comparable glucodynamic properties to injected insulin, but delivered a faster onset of action. It had no safety issues in the trial.

Anne Whitaker, CEO and director of Dance, told the Biotech Center at the time:  “In five clinical trials for Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes, we have consistently seen that it is faster on and slower off.” That produces a “nice, healthy insulin profile, similar to the way a healthy person’s pancreas responds to a meal,” and the effect is sustained until the next meal.

Founded in 2010 in the Bay Area of California by the device inventor, John Patton, Dance Biopharm moved its headquarters to Durham in April 2019. It’s located in the same building as Pappas Ventures, although it has no other relationship with Pappas. Dance has four employees in Durham, three in New York, and six in California.

The company raised more $96 more than million to date, including $20.5 million in the first quarter of 2019. Investors include Molex Ventures, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, and institutional investors based in Hong Kong and New York.

“We have the data now to initiate a Phase 3 registration study,” Whitaker said last October. “We’re going to pursue partnering to take us forward in Phase 3 and commercialization. One partner, Dongbao, will pay 55 percent of development costs in China, which is projected to have a number of diabetes patients in the next decade that exceeds the entire population of the United States.”

Diabetes relief from an inhaler? Durham company says yes