Anergis, a company developing proprietary ultra-fast allergy vaccines, closed a Series B financing round totaling 12,1 million euros. Anergis is not the only company that focuses on allergies, DBV technologies also recently raised money for its new anti-allergic patch.
Allergies are the most prevalent and fastest growing chronic conditions in the industrialized world affecting over 500 million people. The only curative therapy of allergies available today, known as “desensitization” or “Conventional Allergy Immunotherapy” (AIT), is the process of inducing tolerance to the allergen. It requires 3-5 years of treatment and exposes patients to the risk of serious side effects, in particular immediate anaphylactic reactions which can be life-threatening.
Anergis’ vaccines are a long peptide immunotherapy solution based on Contiguous Overlapping Peptides (COP) which reproduce the complete amino acid sequence of the allergen in separate synthetic long peptides. COP allergy vaccines are pharmaceutical quality products that provide complete allergen sequences of all T cell epitopes, but do not cross-react with IgE, the antibody class responsible for eliciting allergic hypersensitivity. Therefore, COPs can be administered safely independent of major histocompatibility complex restriction and at high doses to induce tolerance to the allergen after only a few injections. This enables desensitization in 2 months as opposed to 3 years.
The funds will be used to advance Anergis´ birch allergy vaccine AllerT closer to market. The company is currently preparing the Phase III clinical trial program of this therapy. Anergis has already demonstrated the rapid and long-lasting clinical efficacy of AllerT in two subsequent field-based clinical Phase II trials. The funds will also be used to advance the AllerR ragweed allergy program towards clinical testing, as well as to research and discover undisclosed new Contiguous Overlapping Peptide allergy vaccines. The financing round was jointly led by existing investors Sunstone Capital, BioMedInvest and Renaissance PME as well as new investor WJFS, Inc.
DBV Technologies is also on the road to success with its unique electrostatic patch against food allergies. The technology named Viaskin focuses on milk and peanuts allergies. They entered successfully on the NASDAQ a few weeks ago to attack American market and launch a Phase III trial for the Viaskin Peanuts patch. These recent fundraising in this field show the the enthousiasme of investors for biotech companies competing directly with big players because of their innovative solutions.