Cardior Raises $76 Million to Advance Heart Failure Treatment

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In a Series B financing round, Germany’s Cardior Pharmaceuticals raised €64 million, about $76 million. Funds will be used to advance the clinical development of Cardior’s lead program, CDR132L, an oligonucleotide-based ncRNA inhibitor targeting micro-RNA-132.

CDR132L is in clinical development as a potential treatment for patients with heart failure. CDR132L targets micro-RNA-132, a molecule that acts as a regulator of multiple diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Cardior is studying CDR132L to determine if the ncRNA inhibitor can block the abnormal cardiac levels of micro-RNA-132 in heart failure patients. 

If Cardior can demonstrate this in the clinic, the company believes it will trigger a “therapeutic effect against key hallmarks of heart disease including cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, impaired contractility and reduced vascularization.” And that means that CDR132L should have potential applications in other forms of heart disease, as well as rare diseases such as hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathies.

Cardior completed Phase Ib studies of CDR132L that showed a favorable safety profile and beneficial cardiac effects and is currently initiating a Phase II study in heart failure patients.

Claudia Ulbrich, chief executive officer and co-founder of Cardior, believes ncRNAs can offer a fundamental change to how heart disease is treated through repairing and reversing damage to cardiac tissue. 

As the company moves into Phase II, Ulbrich said CDR132L “has the potential to demonstrate clinical proof-of-concept as a transformative heart disease treatment and to set the stage for the emergence of a new class of medicines.”

The Series B was led by Inkef Capital and backed by new investors, including Fund+, Sunstone, Hadean Ventures, and Coparion. Existing investors BioMedPartners, Bristol Myers Squib and High-Tech Gründerfonds also participated in the Series B. 

“This substantial funding, provided by leading biotech investors, validates the strength of our RNA approach and our team. We welcome our new directors and look forward to working closely with our board as we continue our rapid progress toward the start of the Phase II trial with our lead program,” Ulbrich continued. 

In conjunction with the financing, representatives from Inkef Capital, Fund+, and Sunstone will join the company’s Advisory Board. Simone Botti, Junior Partner at Inkef, touted Cardior’s approach. Botti said the RNA approach has already demonstrated an encouraging safety and efficacy profile. The hope is that it will translate into a “true disease modifying therapy” for cardiac patients, Botti said.

In the United States, Kinnate Biopharma announced $98 million in Series C financing, which will be used to advance its kinase inhibitor portfolio of new targeted therapy candidates. The San Diego-based company’s lead preclinical programs include small molecule inhibitors that target specific classes of BRAF kinase mutations, Class II and Class III mutations, as well as FGFR2 or FGFR3 alterations that attempt to overcome drug resistance, commonly limiting the efficacy of existing therapies. 

The Series C was led by RA Capital Management. New investors Viking Global Investors, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company, LLC, Janus Henderson Investors, Surveyor Capital, Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group, Logos Capital, and an investment fund associated with SVB Leerink also participated. 

In 2019, the company closed a $74.5 million Series B financing round.

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