Endogena Completes Series A with Total Funding of $29 million to Progress Treatments for Degenerative Diseases of the Eye
San Francisco, USA and Zürich, Switzerland, 13th December 2021
Endogena Therapeutics Inc., an endogenous regenerative therapeutics company, today announced that its largest shareholder and lead operating partner Rejuveron Life Sciences AG, has committed a further $20 million funding to progress treatments targeting degenerative diseases of the eye. With an additional $1 million from existing investors, Endogena has now completed its $29 million series A financing round.
The new funding will enable Endogena to progress its lead program, EA-2353, a photoreceptor regeneration treatment for retinitis pigmentosa (RP) through first-in-human trials in the USA and to advance EA-2351, a treatment for geographic atrophy (GA) to IND.
Subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of its IND application, Endogena’s lead program, EA-2353, will enter first-in-human trials in the first half of 2022. In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted orphan drug designation for EA-2353 which provides benefits including market exclusivity once approved, exemption of FDA application fees, and tax credits for qualified clinical trials.
EA-2353 is an endogenous photoreceptor regeneration treatment for RP that works by selective regulation of the endogenous adult stem- and progenitor cells for controlled tissue repair.
RP is a group of inherited diseases causing slow and progressive retinal degeneration and loss of vision, for which there is currently no cure for the majority of patients. It is the leading cause of inherited blindness, with an estimated 1.5 million people worldwide presently affected. Endogena’s novel, small-molecule approach is gene-independent, which has significant advantages in this condition that has multiple genetic causes. It leverages an artificial intelligence-driven drug discovery platform and has the potential to become a paradigm shift in treating degenerative conditions related to aging and genetic disorders.
EA-2351 is a novel pre-clinical candidate for the treatment of GA, an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). GA is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the developed world and it has been estimated that almost 9% of the population older than 45 years of age is affected. Dry-AMD is characterized by extensive retinal pigment epithelium degeneration. There is a high unmet medical need in AMD patients as there are no approved treatments for the condition.
In January, Rejuveron already provided $4.75 million as part of Endogena’s $8m series A-1 financing round and is the largest shareholder in Endogena, alongside major shareholder DEFTA Partners.
Matthias Steger, CEO of Endogena, said: “We are on the brink of a critical milestone in our development as we progress our first program into the clinic. This would not be possible without the substantial support of Rejuveron and DEFTA. Our small molecule drug discovery expertise, AI-driven platform combined with our state-of-the-art stem cell know-how will enable us to advance breakthrough therapies in several indications.”
Christian Angermayer, Chairman of Rejuveron Life Sciences AG, said: “Endogena Therapeutics' approach for endogenous regenerative medicine is a novel treatment paradigm for common degenerative diseases that are becoming more prevalent due to demographic changes with aging populations. Rejuveron is focused on advancing treatments that focus on the biology of ageing and Endogena has transformative potential for age-related degenerative diseases. Regenerative therapies will have a more prominent role in expanding the healthspan of our aging population, which is facing the increasing burden of social, economic and healthcare challenges of age-related demographic shifts.”
Elona Baum, Managing Director of DEFTA Partners, said:
“DEFTA Partners is a strong supporter of funding innovation in age related diseases and is pleased to be working with Rejuveron to support Endogena’s innovative pipeline.”
Endogena Therapeutics Inc. is a preclinical-stage biotech company that discovers and develops first-in-class endogenous regenerative medicines to repair and regenerate tissues and organs. Its approach has the potential to change the way degenerative conditions related to aging and genetic disorders are treated.
The concept is based on selective regulation of endogenous adult stem- and progenitor cells for controlled tissue repair by small molecules. Endogena’s most advanced programs target degenerative diseases of the eye, including retinitis pigmentosa and geographic atrophy, which is secondary to age-related macular degeneration. Endogena is based in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities in Zürich’s Bio-Technopark and at JLABS in Toronto, Canada.
For more information, please visit www.endogena.com
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Rejuveron is a biotechnology company creating therapies to improve healthy aging. Its experienced drug discovery and development team applies a deep understanding of the biology of aging, alongside technological advances in biopharmaceutical R&D, to progress a new generation of medicines that will help people to age better and live longer.
Through its subsidiary companies, each uniquely focused on preventing, repairing, or reversing the hallmarks of aging, Rejuveron is advancing a pipeline of programs that range from drug discovery to the clinic.
Co-founded in 2019 by entrepreneurial scientist, Matthias Steger, and visionary investor, Christian Angermayer, Rejuveron has state-of-the-art incubator laboratory facilities and offices at its headquarters in Zürich’s Bio-Technopark (Switzerland) and in New York (USA).
For more information, please visit www.rejuveron.com
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