Paris, France, May 24rd, 2011 - Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners announced the closing of a €14.5 million (CHF 18 million) series C financing round for GenKyoTex SA, the NOX enzyme specialist.
Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners led the round and was joined by new investors Vesalius Biocapital Partners and MP Healthcare Venture. Existing investors, Eclosion, SEFTI SGAM and Fondation d'Aide aux Entreprises (FAE) also participated in the financing. Proceeds from the round will be used for the clinical development of the lead compound GKT137831 for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy and to advance additional compounds, currently at preclinical stages, in other programmes.
GenKyoTex is developing first in class, small molecules that selectively inhibit the family of NOX enzymes. Nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases - the NOX enzymes - exist in seven forms and produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS can cause tissue damage and modify biological pathways that may be important in a number of pathologies including metabolic, cardiovascular, pulmonary and neurological diseases. GKT137831 is the leading NOX1/4 inhibitor and it will enter Phase I later this year.
Simultaneously with the closing, Ursula Ney, former COO of Antisoma and former Director of Development at Celltech, has been appointed CEO of GenKyoTex. ''This is an exciting and critical time for GenKyoTex with the first compound ready to enter the clinic and the funding to support the development of these novel, first in class NOX inhibitors," she said. "I am looking forward to working with the team to fully explore the broad therapeutic potential of this approach.'' She is joined by new CMO, Philippe Wiesel, formerly a Medical Director for Serono in the US and Switzerland.
"This is an investment in a very promising pathway, where GenKyoTex is clearly positioned as a leader. We feel confident the new management team has all the expertise, knowledge and experience to take the company through the next stage of development and beyond," said Gilles Nobécourt, Partner of Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners. "This new field of NOX enzyme inhibition has great therapeutic and market potential in many difficult to treat diseases caused by the effects of ROS".
In combination with the financing, a new board of directors has been appointed and Ernest Loumaye, CEO of PregLem, becomes the new chairman of the board.
About Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners
Paris-based Edmond de Rothschild investment Partners is dedicated to minority investments into privately-owned companies. It has currently more than Euro 800 million under management which is being invested primarily as life sciences venture capital and growth capital. Its Life Science Team of seven professionals has over 90 years of cumulated experience in the life science industry and a proven track record in biotechnology and medical technology investments. The team has approximately €220 million under management, and raised its most recent fund, €155 million BioDiscovery 3 fund, in 2008. Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners is part of La Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild.
For more information, visit http://www.edrip.fr
GenKyoTex, was founded in 2006 by scientists from Switzerland, the USA and Japan following an academic collaboration to study Nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases, also called NOX enzymes, and their effects on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Five isoforms of NOX have been identified (NOX1-5) and two analogues (DUOX 1 and 2). Today, GenKyoTex has 14 employees in Archamps, France, and Geneva, Switzerland. It has developed a unique screening platform to identify selective first in class novel Nox inhibitors with the potential to treat disease areas such as diabetes, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and pulmonary diseases where there are high clinical needs and large market potentials. The lead compound, GKT137831,is a selective NOX1/4 inhibitor which will enter Phase 1 trials later this year and is targeted for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy.
For further information please visit our Website: http://www.genkyotex.com.
For further information:
Tel: +49 89 2102 280
Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners