Funding enables clinical stage trials of lead compound VMX-COO1.
- € 7.5 million Series A financing from lead investor BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) and Dutch regional development company InnovationQuarter
- Financing supplemented by € 5.0 million innovation credit from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl)
- Leading compound addresses high unmet need for effective prevention and treatment of severe bleeding in the growing number of patients taking anti-coagulants
- Funding enables VarmX to significantly speed up the development of the lead compound and progress to clinical trials.
Leiden, The Netherlands, 2 July 2018 - VarmX, Leiden based biotech company focusing on the development of therapies in the field of hemostasis and thrombosis, today announced the closing of a Series A financing round of € 7.5 million. The round was led by the existing shareholder BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) and regional economic development company InnovationQuarter also invested. Uniiq and Leiden University are also shareholders through conversion of their start-up loan to the company. The equity financing is supplemented by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) with an Innovation Credit of € 5.0 million to a total of € 12.5 million. The series A round is a follow up to the initial seed financing in June 2017 by BGV and Innovation Quarter. This news was announced this weekend at HollandBIO’s Dutch Biotech Event.
VarmX is developing lead compound VMX-COO1 to stop or prevent bleeding in patients taking anticoagulants in the form of synthetic factor Xa inhibitors. The product is based on the innovative research into the properties of a snake venom and of human factor X performed at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)-. The new financing will enable VarmX to advance its lead compound VMX-COO1 as a safe and effective factor Xa anti-coagulant reversal agent into human clinical studies.
To avoid stroke or deep vein thrombosis, millions of patients worldwide daily take synthetic factor Xa inhibitors, such as apixaban, edoxaban or rivaroxaban, and the use of these drugs is increasing rapidly. As a side-effect, each year 2-3 % of patients taking these anti-coagulant drugs experience severe (internal) bleeding which is difficult to treat or to prevent in the setting of emergency surgery.
VMX-COO1 offers a safe and effective solution to this bleeding problem by its capacity to immediately restore blood coagulation in the presence of factor Xa anti-coagulants.
With their Series A investment, following last year’s seed investment, BGV and InnovationQuarter together with RVO.nl enable the company expand its team and develop the production process, focusing on purification and formulation as well as on the pharmacodynamics and kinetics of the active compound. Moreover, safety in preclinical models and in human volunteers will be demonstrated. Work will also continue on the development of new compounds, to build VarmX into a biotechnology company with a broader pipeline of hemostasis and thrombosis related therapies.
Paul Bilars, CEO of VarmX and Professor Pieter Reitsma, emeritus of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at LUMC and CSO of VarmX, are excited about the prospect of bringing this drug to the market:
“We are delighted with the trust of our shareholders, and also with the support that RVO.nl provides for our groundbreaking innovation. This meaningful funding allows VarmX to accelerate the development of VMX-COO1 and thus achieve our ultimate goal: to get our leading therapy treating severe bleeding in patients using anti-coagulants to the patient as quickly as possible. Our innovation is an important solution for another unmet medical need with which we try to make a difference for patients and their quality of life.”
Francis Quint, Head of InnovationQuarter Capital, states:
“We are very satisfied with the good results VarmX reached during the last year and are pleased to again support this LUMC spin off to bring the development of VMX-COO1 to the next phase, the first clinical trials. Together with BGV and RVO we can give VarmX the opportunity to fully focus on the development of their promising compound, that address the significant unmet needs in the field of anti-coagulants.”
Oskar Slotboom, partner at BGV, comments:
“We are pleased to lead this investment round to enable VarmX to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of VMX-COO1 in clinical trials. Addressing such an unmet need for patients by applying differentiating innovative approaches is at the center of BGV’s investment strategy.”