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Venture Capital News: ZS Pharma Grabs $46M

FORT WORTH, TX, Specialty pharmaceutical company has raised $46 million led by Alta Partners.
Specialty pharmaceutical company ZS Pharma, Inc. has raised $46 million to advance development of ZS-9, a crystal form of zirconium silicate, designed to treat patients with kidney and liver disease.

Alta Partners led the new round of financing, joined by new investors RiverVest Venture Partners, 3-5 Special Opportunity Partners and Salem Partners as well as current investor Devon Park Bioventures. The funding will allow ZS Pharma to proceed with pivotal trials for ZS-9 as it prepares for commercialization of the product.

The ZS-9 compound selectively removes life-threatening toxins from patients suffering from kidney and liver disease and related conditions. Initial human clinical testing was focused on patients with elevated levels of potassium in their blood, a condition known as hyperkalemia.

"We are very excited to partner with our new investors to further develop novel treatments for hyperkalemia and other unmet medical needs," said Dr. Al Guillem, president and CEO.
In conjunction with this financing, Robert Alexander, general partner, Alta Partners and John McKearn, managing partner, RiverVest Venture Partners, will join the ZS Pharma Board of Directors.

"We view ZS-9 as a significant medical advance which has the potential to provide major benefits to patients suffering from hyperkalemia," said Alexander.

ZS Pharma has further plans to research and develop other compounds targeting kidney and liver disease, conditions known to have limited treatment options today.

About ZS Pharma
Founded in 2008, ZS Pharma, Inc. is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is focused on the development and commercialization of proprietary oral sorbent technology that will significantly improve the clinical outcomes of those patients suffering from toxic conditions associated with kidney and liver disease.
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