Fundraising Boosts Italian Red Blood Cell Therapy

EryDel Red Blood Cells

EryDel has raised €26.5M to develop a red blood cell drug delivery system to treat a rare disease of the immune and nervous systems. 

Italian biotech EryDel has raised €26.5M to complete a Phase III trial testing a unique technology to treat ataxia telangiectasia, a rare genetic disorder. The fundraising was led by Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm focused on life sciences.

EryDel’s technology drug encapsulates drugs into red blood cells taken from the patient’s blood, which are then injected back into the patient. By using red blood cells to deliver drugs to their site of action, the technology minimizes side effects. Additionally, the approach could increase the efficacy of treatments by protecting the active components of a drug from degradation. The company’s lead product, EryDex has obtained Orphan Drug designation from both the FDA and EMA for treating ataxia telangiectasia, reflecting the technology’s potential.

French biotech Erytech is developing red blood cell therapies as well. While Erytech’s most advanced indications are various cancers, their Eryzyme technology for rare diseases has yet to enter preclinical testing. In the US, Rubius Therapeutics recently raised a staggering $120M (€99M) to enter clinical tirals with its red blood cell therapy. Nonetheless, if EryDel’s Phase III study goes well, the company could become a leader in developing red blood cell therapies.

Image by Phonlamai Photo/Shutterstock

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