LYON, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ENYO Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments for acute and chronic viral infections, today announced that it has secured a €22 million Series A financing round. The investment is intended to help the company roll out its clinical hepatitis-B programme more quickly.
The deal was led by Sofinnova Partners, alongside Morningside and Bpifrance via its fund InnoBio, and should enable ENYO Pharma to conduct Phase I trials in the first half of 2016, and phase II trials on chronic hepatitis B sufferers should follow by 2017.
Viral infections represent a major public health and socioeconomic problem. According to the WHO, more than 350 million people with chronic hepatitis B infections are awaiting treatment, half of whom are in Asia and mainly in China.
Jacky Vonderscher PhD, CEO of ENYO Pharma, commented : "We are delighted to have carried out this financing round with Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences, our long-standing partners since seed-funding, along with Morningside, which is making its first ever investment in France, and the fund InnoBio managed by Bpifrance. The commitment from these investors and the renewed engagement of our founders, Inserm Transfert Initiative and ADV Life Science, vindicates our strategic vision based on a genuine paradigm shift in treating viral illnesses, which are growing rapidly, and for which existing therapies are badly lacking. Beyond our flagship hepatitis B programme, and through our novel approach of disrupting the interactions between viral proteins and human intra-cellular proteins in order to prevent a virus from acting, we have already identified several new human drug targets involved in the replication of severe forms of these viruses, such as those that are currently emerging for influenza. This discovery of compounds capable of changing the activity of these new targets opens up new therapeutic horizons that go far beyond virology."
Rafaèle Tordjman, M.D., PhD, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners says "This financing comes after a first seed funding, and it is a continuation of several major advances: ENYO Pharma has licenced several patents and developed a unique technology platform: the team is ideally positioned to convert the growing virology market.”
Chahra Louafi, Senior Investment Director and Head of the Biotherapies and Rare Diseases Fund of Bpifrance and Jason Dinges, PhD, member of the investment team at Morningside, are now joining Jean-Jacques Garaud, Rafaèle Tordjman and Jacky Vonderscher as members of the board of ENYO Pharma.
ENYO Pharma's technological platform
ENYO Pharma's strategy for discovering therapeutic molecules is based on the work initiated by a team at Inserm in Lyon, formed by ENYO Pharma's co-founders, Pr Patrice André, Dr Vincent Lotteau, Dr Benoît de Chassey and Laurène Meyniel-Schicklin. The strategy involves targeting not the constituents of a virus like most current anti-virals do, but the host's cellular functions that are needed for the virus to replicate. Viral proteins interact with the intra-cellular proteins of the host in order to misuse the human cellular machinery and thrive, using very effective strategies. The new approach involves blocking these interactions, which are vital for the virus. It has the potential to combat the emergence of new resistant strains and to diversify the therapeutic tools used to treat them.
About ENYO Pharma SAS - www.enyopharma.com
About Sofinnova Partners - www.sofinnova.fr
About Morningside - www.morningside.com
About Bpifrance and InnoBio - www.bpifrance.fr
About Inserm Transfert Initiative (ITI) - www.inserm-transfert.fr