Ethris Raises $26.3 Million Series B to Advance Pipeline of mRNA-based Therapeutics for Respiratory Diseases
MUNICH, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ethris GmbH, a leading biotechnology company pioneering transformative messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics, announced today that it has raised $26.3 Million (€23.3 Million) in a Series B financing round led by Laureus Capital. The proceeds of the Series B will advance the company’s lead programs ETH47 - a broad anti-viral immune modulator - and ETH42 - a protein-replacement therapy for primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) - into clinical studies, further advance its proprietary and differentiated mRNA and lipidoid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery platforms and increase its manufacturing capabilities. In conjunction with the financing, Dr. Christian Wawrzinek, Founder of Laureus Capital, will join Ethris as Managing Director and Chief Corporate Strategy Officer and support Ethris with a range of activities including corporate strategy, operational planning, and long-term growth opportunities.
“Raising this Series B financing represents an important milestone for Ethris and validates the potential of our proprietary mRNA and LNP delivery platforms and the expert team we have built,” said Dr. Carsten Rudolph, CEO of Ethris. “The significant capital secured from Laureus enables us to accelerate our highly promising therapeutic programs into the clinic as well as capitalize on the tremendous opportunity that our technology platforms represent, and ultimately to deliver life-changing medicines to patients worldwide. I welcome Christian to our executive team and am looking forward to his expertise as we enter the next phase of our growth.”
Ethris is one of the pioneers of mRNA therapeutics and leverages its proprietary and unique Stabilized Non-Immunogenic mRNA (SNIM®RNA) and LNP delivery platforms to discover, design and develop innovative therapies for a variety of respiratory diseases and respiratory viral infections with high unmet medical need. The company is a world leader in optimizing mRNA therapeutics for inhaled administration, including the customization of nebulization technologies that allow the direct administration of mRNA into the respiratory system. The company’s ETH47 therapeutic candidate contains the mRNA blueprint for type III interferon, which can be administered directly to the respiratory tract and be broadly used to treat respiratory viral infections by activating the body’s innate immune system. Highly promising recent preclinical results demonstrated a reducing virus load and increasing survival in in vivo challenge models for influenza and SARS-CoV-2, which indicate a substantial antiviral efficacy of ETH47.
A second program, ETH42, is being developed to treat primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), a severe, life-limiting genetic pulmonary disease caused by defects in proteins vital for ciliary motility in the respiratory tract to clear the airways. Ethris’ SNIM®RNA therapeutic contains the corrected mRNA instructions needed to produce a functioning protein that has the potential to restore airway clearance and greatly improve mucociliary clearance and the overall health status of the patient. Preclinical data from Ethris’ PCD program demonstrates successful restoration of cilia function, both in patient-derived epithelial airway liquid interface cultures as well as in a zebrafish animal model carrying a PCD-causing genetic defect.
Besides ETH47 and ETH42 programs, Ethris also has an ongoing development program for pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP), a rare autoimmune disease resulting in difficulties in breathing.
Dr. Christian Wawrzinek, CEO and Founder of Laureus Capital commented, “Ethris is a leader in developing highly potent, immunosilent and well stabilized mRNAs. Together with their proprietary, powerful and versatile LNP platform suitable for multiple routes of delivery, Ethris is in a strong position to deliver ‘gamechanger’ therapeutics to large groups of affected patients worldwide. I am very excited to join Ethris on this journey to advance their programs into the clinic and ultimately improve the lives of affected individuals, and I look forward to supporting the leadership team to execute on its strategies.”
Dr. Christian Wawrzinek is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of Laureus Capital, a private investment firm that he established with Dr. Kai Wawrzinek to invest in global companies with the potential to change the world. He has founded several successful companies that have together generated a total turnover of over 1 billion US dollars. For his entrepreneurial achievements he has won several prizes, including the renowned “Entrepreneur of The Year” Award by EY and the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award for the fastest growing German technology company.
Ethris has paved a new path from genes to therapeutic proteins using its proprietary, non-immunogenic messenger RNA technology platform to discover, design and develop innovative therapies. With more than a decade as an mRNA pioneer, we are a global leader in delivering stabilized mRNAs directly to the respiratory system via optimized formulation and nebulization technologies. We are rapidly advancing our pipeline of immuno-modulation and mRNA-based protein replacement therapies with the ultimate goal of improving patients’ lives. For more information, visit www.ethris.com.
For Ethris, please contact:
Dr. Carsten Rudolph
+49 89 8955788 10
Dr. Jacob Verghese
+49 89 2388 7731