Complement Therapeutics GmbH (CTx), a preclinical stage biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics for complement mediated diseases, has completed a €72 million ($78.7 million) Series A financing.
The round was led by Gimv, a Belgian-based private equity and venture capital fund, co-led by Forbion as existing investor and further joined by BioGeneration Ventures (BGV), Panakes Partners, Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), Hadean Ventures and Seroba Life Sciences.
With this new round of financing, CTx will continue the development and complete a phase Ib clinical proof-of-concept of its lead product CTx001. CTx001 is an AAV gene therapy for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to dry age-related macular degeneration (dry-AMD).
Funds will also be deployed to grow the company’s U.K. laboratory in Stevenage, evaluate CTx’s pipeline assets for non-ocular indications as well as further develop the novel complement precision medicine (CPM) platform.
University of Manchester spin-out
CTx was spun out of the University of Manchester with initial funding from BGV in 2021, and subsequently received €5 million ($5.5 million) seed funding in February 2022 from Forbion and BGV. With that funding, CTx has advanced CTx001 through preclinical proof-of-concept, secured an Innovation Passport by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and initiated a non-interventional natural history study in the U.K. (i-GAIN). The i-GAIN study results will help support the clinical development planning for CTx001.
“With a potentially highly differentiated lead asset combined with a precision medicine approach, we are excited by the opportunity to further develop CTx001 for the treatment of GA through to the clinic,” said Rafiq Hasan, CEO and managing director at Complement Therapeutics.
“The support of this broad syndicate enables us to generate additional data demonstrating CTx001’s unique and differentiated mechanism of action, with the potential to transform the treatment landscape in geographic atrophy.”
The company said the recent FDA approval of the first intravitreal treatment for GA is a significant milestone for GA patients and the retina community, and further validates the critical role that the complement system plays in the development and progression of GA whilst highlighting the importance of targeting complement as a therapeutic strategy.
CTx001 gene therapy, the company added, with its novel mechanism of action, has the potential to provide superior efficacy compared to competitive drugs. CTx said this would also lower the burden of treatment among patients through a “one and done” approach, which would transform GA treatment.
Gene therapy not new for eye treatment
Gene therapy for the treatment of eye conditions is not a new concept. In 2017, French biotech Eyevensys was cleared by the French Product Security Regulatory Agency (ANSM) to proceed into the clinic with its EyeCET platform. The gene therapy platform aims to address a range of ophthalmic diseases.
Also in 2017, Luxturna became the first gene therapy for inherited blindness to receive FDA approval. Luxturna was developed by the U.S. company Spark Therapeutics, which was acquired by Roche in 2019.