Company will focus on developing a treatment for a rare degenerative heart disease.

When $10 million in promissory notes purchased by funds associated with Red Mile Capital came due in September 2017, Array BioPharma opted to spin out a research program targeting lamin A/C-related dilated cardiomyopathy (LMNA-related DCM), a degenerative heart disease caused by mutation of the lamin A/C (LMNA) gene, as a new subsidiary that affects approximately 6,000 to 10,000 people in the US, according to the company. Array is hopeful that Yarra can raise sufficient funds from investors to allow repayment of the promissory notes with shares in the new subsidiary. 

Yarra (array spelled backwards) Therapeutics was granted intellectual property, inventory, equipment, clinical trial data and other material related to Arrays’ experimental oral cardiomyopathy drug Array 797. LMNA-related DCM typically appears in people in their twenties or thirties, nearly three-quarters of whom require a heart transplant before they are 45, will have already suffered a major cardiac event or died. 

Array 797 is a selective p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor and is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 trial. Initial results were promising, “exceeding historical benchmarks” “that have served as the basis for recent approvals of other drugs in other rare diseases,” according to Array.