SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gemmus Pharma Inc. announced today that it has closed on a Series A funding. Gemmus is a privately held biotechnology company developing an improved host-targeted treatment for influenza. The funding will be used to prepare for an IND filing of a candidate therapy that reduces symptoms during influenza infections by modulating the body’s own beneficial immune response. The company has recently secured IP around its novel technology for drug development (“EP2 and EP4 agonists as agents for the Treatment of Influenza A viral infections”, US patent 8,183,286).
The Series A was funded by a syndicate of angel groups led by the Life Science Angels (LSA). Allan May, LSA Chairman and Top Angel Investor of the Year in 2001 noted, “Gemmus was the most compelling pharma deal we have seen in some time and the only new pharma deal we recommended in 2011.” Other members of the syndicate included BlueTree Allied Angels, Tech Coast Angels, Wilmington Investor Network and The Angels Forum.
"Gemmus is very pleased to have the support of this group of high-quality angel investors,” said Daryl Faulds, PhD, CEO. “We believe we have the necessary expertise and now, protected technology and capital, to develop safe, ‘best-in-class, first-in-class’ oral treatments for potentially severe influenza and other clinically relevant indications.”
Infections by pandemic influenza strains, such as A H5N1 (bird flu) and A H1N1 (swine flu), and seasonal Influenza strains are associated with a “cytokine storm”. A cytokine storm is a dysfunctional innate immune response involving unchecked production of pro-inflammatory mediators. If cytokine production continues, the lungs become affected as activated white blood cells accumulate. The release of cytokines outside the lungs can lead to systemic inflammation, organ failure and death.
“Our first product candidate GP1001 uniquely treats influenza infection by tempering the cytokine storm,” said William Guilford PhD, President, Gemmus. “Our patent around EP4 agonists will allow us to develop this new approach that can be used as a treatment that is independent of virus strain and not susceptible to viral resistance. This is the first step in a multi-tiered patent strategy.”
“We are very pleased to have closed on our Series A with financing from seasoned investors, especially in a difficult market,” said William Holstein, SVP Finance. “Gemmus management has a track record of success in drug development, especially in the area of anti-inflammatory products for high-value indications. This new capital will allow the company to rapidly advance our lead flu product and look toward commercialization.”
Gemmus is a privately held biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative pharmaceutical products for the treatment of infectious diseases by modulating the host response to the disease. Gemmus was founded in 2007 to develop EP2 and EP4 agonists for the treatment for the treatment of influenza and in-licensed technology from a major pharmaceutical company. The company has applied for and received an SBIR(NIH) and a QTDP competitive grant. Gemmus is a member of the QB3 network, a San Francisco Bay Area Biotech incubator associated with UCSF Mission Bay campus. For more information and corporate background, please visit: www.gemmuspharma.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts may be forward looking statements. The inclusion of forward looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Gemmus that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Gemmus' business including, without limitation, statements about difficulties or delays in developing, obtaining regulatory approval, manufacturing and commercializing its products, unexpected performance or side effects of its products, the scope and validity of its products’ patent protection, competition from other companies and its ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations. All forward looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this statement and Gemmus undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date hereof.