NodThera discovers and develops next generation NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors for the treatment of diseases driven by chronic inflammation
Cambridge, UK, 25 June 2018 – NodThera, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of next generation NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors for the treatment of diseases driven by chronic inflammation, today announces it has closed its Series A financing round for a total of £28 million ($40 million). The Series A second closing was co-led by leading healthcare investors Sofinnova Partners and 5AM Ventures, with further participation from Epidarex Capital and F-Prime Capital Partners. NodThera was created and seed funded by life science investor, Epidarex Capital in 2016 based on earlier research conducted at Selvita, a Polish drug discovery company which remains a shareholder in NodThera. Henrijette Richter, PhD, Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners and Scott Rocklage, PhD, Founding Partner of 5AM Ventures will both join the Board of Directors with Henrijette Richter additionally serving as Chair.
Alan Watt PhD MBA, Chief Scientific Officer and acting Chief Executive Officer, said: “Selective NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition represents one of the most exciting and promising approaches to treating diseases caused by chronic inflammation. We believe this approach has the potential to transform the treatment of patients suffering from these diseases where there are limited or no treatment options available. NodThera is committed to discovering and developing first-in-class molecules in our core disease areas, and working with the best partners in this space to address other chronic inflammation driven therapeutic areas. Together with our highly experienced management team, a strong scientific advisory board and the support of our international blue-chip investors, we are fully equipped to achieve our future goals.”
NodThera is developing small molecule inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome, a multi-protein complex which initiates an innate immune response in the body. NodThera’s next generation approach could bring new treatment options to patients in areas where current standard of care is sub-optimal or non-existent across a wide range of therapeutic areas related to chronic inflammation. The NodThera strategy is to develop its leading drug candidate through to proof-of-concept in humans in an inflammatory disease and to bring forward further drug candidates specifically addressing high unmet medical needs such as neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers. NodThera’s team combines a deep understanding of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition with extensive pharmaceutical experience of drug discovery and development and is supported by a world-class team of scientific advisors.
Henrijette Richter PhD, Managing Partner, Sofinnova Partners and Chair of the Board of Directors said: “We are excited to invest in NodThera who we believe have the ability to address a wide range of disease areas related to chronic inflammation. We are pleased to have co-led this next chapter in NodThera’s development and look forward to supporting the management team as it establishes NodThera as a world-leader in NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition.”
Elizabeth Roper PhD, Partner, Epidarex Capital, said: “Since its inception, we saw the potential for NodThera to become a pioneer in the NLRP3 inflammasome space with the right approach to produce ground breaking products targeting multiple therapeutics areas. We are delighted to welcome such an experienced and international group of investors into the Company and believe this is strong validation of NodThera’s ambitions.”
NodThera is a private biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of next generation NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors for the treatment of diseases driven by chronic inflammation. The Company is led by a strong management team that combines a deep understanding of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition with extensive pharmaceutical experience of drug discovery and development. NodThera is building a pipeline of small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors through a highly differentiated, next generation approach that builds on and enhances existing understanding of NLRP3 biochemistry and its role in inflammation. The Company’s investors include Sofinnova Partners, 5AM Ventures, Epidarex Capital and F-Prime Capital Partners. Selvita, which spun the Company out of its immunology research platform in August 2016, remains a shareholder. For more information please visit: www.nodthera.com
About NLRP3 inhibitors
NLRP3-driven chronic inflammation is known to be the root cause of a wide range of debilitating diseases. Inflammasomes are multi-protein complexes that initiate an innate immune response in the body. Chronic inflammation can occur when inflammasomes are inappropriately activated by ‘danger’ signals in the body, leading to a number of diseases such as neurodegeneration, certain cancers, metabolic, cardiovascular and immune-inflammatory diseases. NLRP3 inflammasomes are uniquely activated by a wide range of these ‘danger’ signals, and specific inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome has the potential to treat the chronic inflammation that drives these diseases. Selective NLRP3 inhibitors offer safety advantages, as they leave the rest of the innate immune response intact to respond to infection. NLRP3 inhibitors can be made to target different tissues and organs thereby giving a broad disease application, and they can be taken orally providing a simple treatment regimen for patients.
About Epidarex Capital
Epidarex invests in early-stage, high growth life science and health technology companies in under-ventured markets in the US and Europe. With offices in Bethesda, Maryland and in Edinburgh, Scotland, Epidarex builds successful companies from world-class medical research to achieve commercial, patient-driven success.
Epidarex’s international management team has a track record of successfully partnering with scientists and entrepreneurs to develop highly innovative products for the global healthcare market. More information is available at www.epidarex.com
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is one of Europe’s leading venture capitalists specializing in life sciences. Based in Paris, the company invests in paradigm shift technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners is primarily involved in start-ups and spin-offs of companies as a founding investor and leader. For more than 45 years, the company has supported more than 500 companies around the world that have become leaders in their market. Sofinnova Partners currently manages € 1.6 billion. For more information: www.sofinnova.fr
About 5AM Ventures
Founded in 2002, 5AM actively invests in next-generation life science companies. With ~$1 billion under management, 5AM has invested in 65 companies and successful exits which include Audentes Therapeutics (Nasdaq: BOLD), Cidara Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CDTX), DVS Sciences (acquired by Fluidigm), Envoy Therapeutics (acquired by Takeda), Flexion Therapeutics (Nasdaq: FLXN), Ikaria (acquired by Mallinckrodt), Ilypsa (acquired by Amgen), Incline Therapeutics (acquired by The Medicines Company), Marcadia Biotech (acquired by Roche), Novira Therapeutics (acquired by J&J), Pearl Therapeutics (acquired by AstraZeneca), Relypsa (Nasdaq: RLYP, acquired by Galenica), and scPharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SCPH).
About F-Prime Capital Partners
F-Prime Capital Partners is a global venture capital firm investing in life sciences, healthcare, and technology. Since 1969, F-Prime has worked closely with entrepreneurs and academics to create innovative solutions to some of the world’s most significant challenges in healthcare and technology. For more information, please visit fprimecapital.com.
Selvita is one of the largest drug discovery companies in Europe. The company has two primary focus areas: research and development of breakthrough therapies in oncology and high quality, integrated drug discovery services. The company was established in 2007 and currently employs over 450 scientists.
Selvita is headquartered in Krakow, Poland, with a second research site in Poznan, Poland and international offices located in Cambridge, MA and San Francisco Bay Area, in the US, as well as in Cambridge, UK. Selvita is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE:SLV).
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