Rare Daily Staff
Renovacor said it completed an $11 million series A financing, which will be used to advance its lead gene therapy program into the clinic as a treatment for a rare cardiovascular disease.
Novartis Venture Fund, Broadview Ventures, and BioAdvance led the financing round, which included participation by New Leaf Venture Partners and Innogest Capital.
Renovacor’s lead program is a recombinant adeno-associated virus-based gene therapy for patients suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) due to mutations in the BAG3 gene. Though more than 3 million people in the United States suffer from dilated cardiomyopathy, a small subpopulation has been identified that develop DCM due to mutations in specific genes that have been shown to result in the development of DCM.
One of these specific genes is BAG3 gene. There are an estimated 35,000 people in the United States with disease causing BAG3 mutations. It is estimated a similar number of DCM patients with BAG3 mutations exist in Europe. These patients are typically younger and progress to end-stage heart failure sooner than patients with ischemic heart disease. Currently DCM patients with a BAG3 mutation are treated with standard of care for heart failure. Despite improvements in therapies and care, the five-year survival of a patient with DCM is only 50 percent.
In conjunction with the financing, Renovacor name Magdalene Cook as its president and CEO. It also named its board, which includes Renovacor founder and Professor of Medicine at Temple University Arthur Feldman, Broadview Ventures Director Thomas Needham, Novartis Venture Fund Managing Director Campbell Murray, and President and CEO Emeritus of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Edward Benz.
“There are currently no precision medicine options for cardiovascular patients with specific genetic mutations – a deficiency that Renovacor hopes to address,” said Renovacor’s Cook. “By bringing the first precision therapy for a cardiovascular disease to the market, we aim to change the therapeutic paradigm that has existed in this field for more than three decades.”
Photo: Magdalene Cook, president and CEO of Renovacor