German Biotech Raises €7M Series A to Treat Acute Heart Failure

4TEEN4 Pharmaceuticals has raised a Series A round of €6.9M to fuel the development of a first-in-class antibody drug that could reduce mortality in acute heart failure.

The round was led by Brandenburg Kapital, a subsidiary of the German investment bank Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg. Other investors in the round, including business angels and private investors, were not disclosed. 

4TEEN4 Pharmaceuticals, a German company previously known as Sphingotec Therapeutics, will use the money to begin phase I trials of its lead antibody drug. The trials are expected to launch in 2020.

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The antibody drug is designed to treat acute cardiovascular conditions such as acute heart failure, a condition where the heart is suddenly unable to pump enough blood to sustain the body. While treatments of chronic heart failure have improved over the last few decades, there are not enough effective treatments for acute heart failure. Around 4-7% of hospitalized patients with the condition die. 

4TEEN4’s lead drug blocks the protein DPP3, which is released during heart failure. This protein disrupts the cardiovascular system’s efforts to control the damage, leading to organ failure. The company expects that blocking it could improve patient survival.

Andreas Bergmann, CEO of 4TEEN4, stated that DPP3 is linked to many other conditions that involve organ failure, such as severe sepsis and burns. The company is now researching more conditions that its lead drug could treat in addition to acute cardiovascular failure.

Cardiovascular diseases are humanity’s biggest killer. Some companies are developing ways to restore the cardiovascular system, such as Carmat, which is developing artificial hearts. Some groups are developing methods for printing new heart tissue.


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