Dutch Snake Venom-Derived Clotting Agent Comes Closer to the Clinic

Dutch biotech raises €12.5M to complete the preclinical development of its lead compound for acute internal bleeding and bring the drug into clinical trials.

VarmX, based in Leiden, the Netherlands, raised a Series A round of €7.5M led by BioGeneration Ventures, with an additional €5M provided by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency as an Innovation Credit. The company plans to use the funding to complete preclinical testing of its lead compound PseudoXa and advance into human clinical studies.

VarmX is developing a treatment for patients with internal bleeding who have taken blood thinners. The therapy works by modifying a human blood clotting factor called Xa to resemble a version of the protein found in snake venom. The modification enables the clotting factor to stop and prevent internal bleeding in patients who require it.

As cardiovascular diseases are becoming more prevalent in Western countries, the use of blood thinners is rising as well. VarmX’s technology could eventually help manage the side effects of using blood thinners and lead to more effective treatments for clogged arteries.

Image by adike/Shutterstock

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