Tuesday, April 30, 2013
By Geoff Percival
Drug development firm Opsona Therapeutics has raised €33m to fund test work on a product it is developing to help kidney transplant patients amongst others.
The money will go towards funding clinical studies into the former Trinity College campus company’s lead product — code-named ‘OPN-305’ — which is aimed at treating a range of inflammatory diseases and conditions; from rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and lupus to various forms of cancer.
This will be the first detailed clinical study into OPN-305, but the drug recently completed a successful Phase-1 clinical trial, in healthy human volunteers and has also demonstrated activity in pre-clinical animal models and ex-vivo studies.
Opsona’s chief executive, Martin Welschof, said the innate immune system represents “a new frontier” in targeting inflammatory diseases, adding that “the quality of venture and corporate investors, in this funding round, is a demonstration of Opsona’s expertise and capabilities in this highly promising field”.
The equity raising sees the likes of BB Biotech Ventures, Sunstone Capital, Baxter Ventures, Amgen Ventures and EMBL Ventures join the consortium of equity holders in Opsona. They join existing investors Novartis Venture Fund, Fountain Healthcare Partners, Roche Venture Fund and Seroba Kernel Life Sciences, all of whom also upped their stakes via increased investment.
“With their repeat investment, our existing investors have clearly indicated their long-term commitment to Opsona, while the new investment… is a further endorsement of Opsona’s future potential.”
The Dublin-based firm — set up by three world-renowned immunologists at Trinity nearly nine years ago — is developing a range of treatments for inflammatory diseases.