Novo Seeds, the early stage investment and company creation team of Novo Holdings, announced that its portfolio company HepaRegeniX GmbH, a preclinical stage company developing a novel therapy for the treatment of acute and chronic liver diseases has successfully closed a Series B financing round in excess of €11 million.
In addition to Novo Seeds, all other existing investors Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund GmbH (BIVF), the High-Tech Gruenderfonds, Coparion and Ascenion also participated in the round.
The proceeds will be used to advance the first MKK4 (Mitogen-Activated Protein (MAP) Kinase 4) inhibitor for treatment of acute and chronic liver diseases to the clinic later in 2020. MKK4 is a key regulator of liver regeneration and suppression of MKK4 unlocks the regenerative capacity of hepatocytes even in severely diseased livers.
Over the last 2.5 years, HepaRegeniX focused on the discovery of new and proprietary MKK4 inhibitors which led to the identification of several preclinical drug candidates. Results from experimental, clinically relevant disease models further validated the concept that MKK4-inhibition improves the regeneration capacity of hepatocytes in affected organs and provided strong evidence for successful clinical development.
Emmanuelle Coutanceau, Partner at Novo Seeds, commented: “HepaRegeniX has excellent science, solid data and unique therapeutic approach to acute and chronic liver diseases. Our strategy is to invest in breakthrough innovation with the ultimate goal of developing medicines that can transform patients lives, and we believe HepaRegeniX has the potential to revolutionize the field of liver regeneration. We are very happy to once again support this proven management team and look forward to working with this renowned investor syndicate in advancing the first MKK4 inhibitor into clinical development.”
Dr. Michael Lutz, CEO of HepaRegeniX, said: “This is an exciting phase for HepaRegeniX as we look to advance our first compound into the clinic based on compelling preclinical data for our proprietary MKK4 inhibitor. In this regard, we are very proud to have been able to secure this Series B financing round from our current investor base within a very short time period.”
About HepaRegeniX GmbH
Since its inception in 2017, HepaRegeniX has successfully discovered and developed several preclinical drug candidates for the treatment of acute and chronic liver diseases based on a novel proprietary molecular target Mitogen-Activated Protein (MAP) Kinase 4. MKK4 is a key regulator of liver regeneration and suppression of MKK4 unlocks the regenerative capacity of hepatocytes even in severely diseased livers. This new and unique therapeutic concept for the treatment of liver diseases was discovered by Prof. Lars Zender and his research group at the University Hospital Tubingen, Germany. Investors in HepaRegeniX include the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF), Novo A/S, coparion, High-Tech Gruenderfonds and Ascenion GmbH.