Anergis Closes Financing Round Totaling CHF 8 Million
2/5/2014 6:04:14 AM
EPALINGES, Switzerland, February 5, 2014 – Anergis, a company discovering and developing proprietary allergy vaccines, today announced the closing of a financing round totaling CHF 8 million. The financing was fully subscribed by existing investors and directors and was co-lead by Sunstone Capital, BioMedInvest and Renaissance PME/Vinci Capital.
Anergis will use the proceeds to further advance the clinical development of its lead product AllerT, a vaccine to treat birch pollen allergy, and to advance two additional vaccine candidates against house dust mite and ragweed allergies. For AllerT, the funds will specifically allow the preparation of Phase III trials and the conduct of a long-term efficacy follow-up trial of patients who participated in the recently completed field-based Phase II study. The results from this second follow-up season are expected to be available in the third quarter of 2014.
“Our investors have reconfirmed their confidence in our company, our technology platform and our lead allergy vaccine candidate AllerT,” said Vincent Charlon, CEO of Anergis. “With AllerT, we have already demonstrated the efficacy of our technology under conditions of natural allergen exposure, as required in pivotal trials designed for regulatory approval. We now look forward to advancing our next allergy vaccine candidates for patients with house dust mite and ragweed allergies.”
“We are very impressed by the recent Phase II results of Anergis´ lead compound AllerT,” added Jacques-François Martin, Chairman of Anergis´ Board of Directors. "We believe that the company´s COP allergy vaccines may well become the next generation of allergy desensitization vaccines. We are particularly encouraged by the fact that immunology data collected in patients treated with AllerT showed persisting allergen-specific IgG4 elevations four seasons after completing an ultra-fast 2-month treatment in our Phase I/IIa trial."
Anergis SA is a Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and development of novel, proprietary allergy vaccines that target commercially attractive indications. Anergis´ vaccines are based on its IP-protected Contiguous Overlapping Peptide (COP) technology. Allergies are the most prevalent and fastest growing chronic conditions in the industrialized world affecting over 500 million people.
Anergis’ lead-product AllerT, a vaccine to treat birch pollen allergies, is due to enter Phase III clinical development in 2014. Two additional vaccine candidates against ragweed pollen allergies (AllerR) and house dust mite allergies (AllerDM) are in preclinical development.
Anergis has raised over CHF 30 million from Renaissance PME/Vinci Capital, Sunstone Capital, BioMedInvest and other investors, including Esperante Ventures and Initiative Capital Romandie/Defi Gestion.
About Anergis´ Contiguous Overlapping Peptides (COP) Technology
The only curative therapy of allergies available today, known as “desensitization” or “Conventional Allergy Immunotherapy” (AIT), is the process of inducing tolerance to the allergen. It requires 3-5 years of treatment and exposes patients to the risk of serious side effects – in particular immediate (<30 min) anaphylactic reactions – which can be life-threatening. With its ultra-fast desensitization, Anergis is shaping the future of allergy treatment. Anergis’ vaccines are based on COPs which reproduce the complete amino acid sequence of the allergen in separate synthetic long peptides. COP allergy vaccines are pharmaceutical quality products that provide the complete allergen sequence covering all T cell epitopes, but do not cross-react with IgE, the antibody class responsible for eliciting allergic hypersensitivity. Therefore, COPs can be administered safely at high doses to induce tolerance to the allergen after only a few injections. This enables desensitization in 2 months as opposed to 3 years. Studies of COPs targeting bee venom and birch pollen allergies in both animals and humans have demonstrated excellent safety (i.e. no immediate allergic reaction) and immunogenicity (production of specific antibodies and cytokines against the original allergen and establishment of a long-term immune memory). The Phase IIb data reported in September 2013 confirmed that COP allergy vaccines can also substantially reduce allergy symptoms under real-life conditions of natural pollen exposure.
Vincent Charlon, CEO
Dr. Ludger Wess, Ines-Regina Buth
Tel. +49 40 88165964 or +49 30 2363 2768
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