Neurogenic bladder dysfunction is a chronic and dangerous condition suffered by people living with spinal cord injuries or other neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. Existing drugs act by paralysing the bladder muscle, in more or less selective ways, and can lead to urinary retention, also associated with infections.
EG 427, a French biotechnology company, has developed a unique, non-replicative Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (nrHSV-1) based vector platform. It delivers highly selective, durable expression of disease-modifying transgenes, with pinpoint precision. Its lead asset, EG110A, targets the silencing of type-C sensory neurons.
Closes Series A round with €5M
EG 427, which leads the development of pinpoint DNA medicine solutions, has picked up additional €5 million in the final closing of its Series A funding round. The investment came from a combination of existing investors and new family office investors, bringing the total raised in the Series A round to €18 million.
This follows the first close in early 2021 and the new funds will be used to advance its unique, non-replicative Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (nrHSV-1) based vector platform, in particular achieving Q1 2024 IND filing for lead product EG110A in neurogenic bladder overactivity.
Later in 2023, EG 427 will be initiating a Series B fundraising to finance clinical development of EG110A and advance other pipeline products.
“We are delighted to conclude this Series A round with strong support from our existing investors, as we also welcome new investors,” said Philippe Chambon, M.D., Ph.D., Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EG 427. “The funds raised will be used to advance our pipeline, culminating in the Investigational New Drug application filing in Q1 2024 for the first clinical study of our lead product, EG110A.”
“EG110A is the first genuinely innovative approach to be developed for patients suffering neurogenic bladder overactivity in more than a decade. Compared to other experimental therapeutics at this stage of development, it is de-risked by two key precedents. First, the way EG110A exerts efficacy is similar – but with potential critical improvements in safety and efficacy – to a surgical option for this condition, called sacral dorsal root rhizotomy; and, second, the recent FDA approval of the first non-replicative HSV-1 vector gene therapy confirmed that this approach has strong therapeutic potential outside of cancer,” said Cornelia Haag-Molkenteller, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer of EG 427.
Prof. Pierre Denys, Head of Urology Department at R. Poincaré Hospital in Paris and co-founder of EG 427, said: “Neurogenic bladder overactivity patients endure frequent incontinence episodes due to their condition. It has a high psycho-social burden and negatively impacts quality of life. It also is a medical threat associated with recurrent urinary tract infections, and can harm the patients’ kidneys when not properly managed. Even with currently approved drugs, there remains a major medical need for long-lasting solutions with fewer side-effects.”
Develops pinpoint gene therapies
Founded by Philippe Chambon, Alberto Epstein, François Giuliano, Pierre Denys, and Charles Joussain in 2019, EG 427 has developed EG110A. With its unique ability to deliver gene therapies to targeted tissues with pinpoint accuracy, EG110A could become the first gene therapy product to treat neurogenic bladder overactivity and other bladder pathologies.
Based on highly targeted gene therapy delivery afforded by the nrHSV-1 vectors and the local administration of it into bladder muscle, EG110A achieves exquisite specificity for targeted neurons, without spreading systemically like other smaller viral vectors used in gene therapy, such as adeno-associated virus (AAV). Compared to available treatments, EG110A may also provide long-term efficacy, reducing or even potentially obviating the need for repeated injections.
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