3 gene therapy companies secure VC money; Novalis closes nearly $30 million fund
A European life sciences VC firm will invest in three more startups specializing in rare genetic diseases as a part of its Sofinnova Telethon Fund, the company announced Wednesday.
AAVantgarde Bio, Alia Therapeutics and Borea Therapeutics will receive seed funding worth a total of $7.1 million. The fund is dedicated to biotechs in Italy, and led by Lucia Faccio and Paola Pozzi, Partners at Sofinnova Partners.
AAVantgarde Bio is a Milan-based company that is developing gene therapies for inherited retinal disorders, and the company’s technology builds on existing AAV platforms. Alia Therapeutics is developing CRISPR-based medicine for safer on-target in vivo gene editing for retinal degeneration, and Borea Therapeutics, which is also out of Milan, is working on gene therapies that target the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.
VC Novalis closes nearly $30 million fund
The Biotech Acceleration Fund, started by VC investor Novalis Biotech, has closed a $29.6 million fund to invest in start-up and scale-up companies, the company announced.
The fund is the Ghent-based firm’s second. Its first was founded in September 2018, and totaled $4 million. That money was put into eight companies, which include BioLizard, Cergentis and Enzyre.
Novalis looks for investments in genomics, bioinformatics, drug research or manufacturing tools, diagnostics and personalized medicine, the company said in a release. The investments will be split between early-stage incubation projects and later stage acceleration projects, and Grapheal and RheaVita, a Belgian end-to-end freeze drying company that is the first of its kind. It took home $3 million in its Series A fundraising.
“Now more than ever there is huge interest in the ability for innovative technology to help provide a response to our growing healthcare needs,” co-founder Wim Van Criekinge said in a press release. “We believe the enabling technologies we identify and support early in their development will meet these growing needs.
Postive results from LYR-210 pave way for NDA
A clinical study of an anti-inflammatory implant from Lyra Therapeutics to treat patients with chronic rhinosinusitis showed that the drug can elute mometasone furoate safely for six months, the company announced Wednesday.
The findings will support Lyra’s new drug application with the FDA. The drug is convenient to implant and remove in a routine visit to the doctor, and targets inflamed mucosal tissue in patients with CRS.
“These results will support a 505(b)(2) pathway for LYR-210’s NDA submission. We are delighted at the rapid pace of enrollment of our first U.S. patients, and believe this bodes well for interest at U.S. sites for our Phase III program, which we expect to initiate around the end of the year,” CEO Maria Palasis said in a press release.
The study enrolled 24 patients, who received a 7500 microgram dose, over the course of 56 days.