Rare Daily Staff
Modus Therapeutics said it has raised $15.7 million (SEK 140 million) to advance development of its sickle cell disease therapy sevuparin through a financing led by the European venture capital firm HealthCap.
As part of the investment round, HealthCap will invest $6.7 million (SEK 60 million) and existing shareholders will convert outstanding convertible notes into shares. The new equity investment together with the conversion amounts to more than $15.7 million.
“The funds that we have raised will allow us to complete our current phase 2 trial with sevuparin in patients with SCD and commence a new program focused on a subcutaneous formulation,” said Ellen Donnelly, CEO of Modus Therapeutics.
Sickle cell disease is a painful, inherited blood disorder affecting millions of people around the globe and the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S. affecting between 90,000-100,000 patients, with medical care costs amounting to more than $1 billion. In Europe it is estimated that there are 35,000-40,000 SCD patients, with an even higher number in the Middle East and North Africa region, with more than 850,000 SCD patients.
There is currently no pharmaceutical product available that targets the underlying cause of vaso-occlusive crisis that affect SCD patients. Current therapies are predominantly strong intravenous pain medications and SCD patients often must be hospitalized to be treated.
Modus’ lead candidate drug sevuparin is a proprietary polysaccharide drug with anti-adhesive, anti-aggregate and anti-inflammatory effects. The experimental therapy is being evaluated in a mid-stage clinical study. The company said sevuparin has the potential to restore blood flow and prevent further microvascular obstructions in children and adults with SCD.
Modus is currently enrolling patients in the mid-stage study with the hopes of completing enrollment by the end of the year.
July 13, 2018
Photo: Ellen Donnelly, CEO of Modus Therapeutics