LYON, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ENYO Pharma, a clinical stage biotech company developing innovative drug candidates by mimicking virus strategies to modulate host cellular functions, today announced that it has completed a €40 million Series B round of financing from US and European investors. This new funding will enable the company to finance the two first Phase II clinical trial of its EYP001 asset in both chronic HBV and NASH. A second asset is also planned to enter clinic by 2019.
The deal was led by OrbiMed, followed by Andera Partners (previously EDRIP) and Bpifrance Large Venture as new shareholders. Existing shareholders, Sofinnova Private Capital VII, Morningside Venture Investments, InnoBio and Inserm Transfert Initiative also participated to this round. This represents another landmark achievement after the €22 million Series A fundraising closed in 2016.
Dr Iain Dukes, a Venture Partner with OrbiMed, will now join the Board of Directors and commented “We are excited to lead the current round of investors in ENYO Pharma and look forward to advancing EYP001 into larger HBV and NASH patients studies.”
Other representatives from Andera Partners, Bpifrance Large Venture and OrbiMed will be observers to the Board of Directors, with Raphaël Wisniewski, Laurent Higueret and Carl Gordon, respectively.
Annette Clancy, Chair of the Board of Directors, commented that “this influx of new capital and investors will significantly strengthen the expertise of the Board as we guide the company though its ambitious development plans over the next 12 -18 months.”
Jacky Vonderscher, CEO, commented “we are delighted to have successfully raised sufficient new capital from such quality investors who will enable us to grow and demonstrate the full potential of the Company.”
ENYO Pharma lead candidate, EYP001, is an orally bioavailable small molecule currently being evaluated in phase Ib in patients with chronic hepatitis B. EYP001 is a synthetic non-steroidal, non-bile acid FXR agonist with a very good tolerability profile. Two phase II clinical trials are planned to start before end of 2018 in chronically HBV infected patients and in NASH patients.
Hepatitis B remains a major worldwide public health problem. According to the WHO, over 350 million people chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus are awaiting treatment, half of them in Asia. Despite progress with vaccine coverage, close to 300 million people will remain chronically infected in the 2030s, putting them at major risk of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer. Contrary to lifelong standards of care that target essentially virus replication, EYP001 is targeting the cccDNA (‘virus reservoir’) therefore aiming for an HBV real cure.
NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) is the most common liver disorder in Western countries and results in liver fat accumulation leading to inflammation and hepatocyte injury. It is estimated that more than 5% of the population has an advanced form of NASH. Most key opinion leaders agree that FXR agonists could be the backbone of future NASH therapies. EYP001 has demonstrated efficacy in the Stelic mouse model (STAMTM) with significant decrease on almost all pathological parameters of NASH (fibrosis, steatosis, inflammation, ballooning, triglycerides and NAS). It appears to differentiate from other FXR agonists by a better C4/FGF19 balance with a more prolonged C4 decrease and a lower peak of FGF19.
ENYO Pharma’s second asset, EYP002, is a new first-in-class chemical series which should enter IND enabling studies in H2 2018. Initially developed using inhibition of influenza replication as a phenotypic assay, molecules modulate a small family of proteins known to regulate mitochondrial metabolism and stress responses. The scope for therapeutic application extends largely beyond infectious diseases with several other indications having already been positively tested through in vitro and in vivo animal pharmacology studies (e.g. Metabolic Diseases, Oncology, and even a genetic rare disease).
About ENYO Pharma SA - www.enyopharma.com
ENYO Pharma is a privately held clinical stage biopharmaceutical company incorporated in January 2014. Founders are a mix of virus-host protein interactions experts from the International Center for Research in Infectiology (INSERM U1111) in Lyon and pharmaceutical industry executives with an impressive track record in drug development. The company is developing new small molecule therapeutics, mainly first-in-class, in various therapeutic areas with unmet medical needs. The company is headquartered in Lyon, France and has also a subsidiary in Melbourne, Australia. ENYO Pharma is pioneering a brand-new approach and has built a unique drug discovery engine based on mimetism of the secular strategy how viruses have adapted during evolution to hijack the human cellular functions for their own benefit. ENYO Pharma has developed an exhaustive database of all known virus/human protein-protein interactions from which new cellular targets are discovered. From that, small active molecules are designed and developed until Phase II clinical trials internally or through partnerships. The company is currently developing treatments against liver diseases and infectious diseases.
About OrbiMed Private Investment VII (new Lead investor) – www.OrbiMed.com
OrbiMed is a leading investment firm dedicated exclusively to the healthcare sector, with over $14 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the spectrum of healthcare companies, from venture capital start-ups to large multinational corporations, utilizing a range of private equity funds, public equity funds, royalty/debt funds and other investment vehicles. OrbiMed maintains its headquarters in New York City, with additional offices in San Francisco, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Herzliya. OrbiMed seeks to be a capital provider of choice, with the flexibility to provide equity and debt capital solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of our portfolio companies. The firm’s global team of over 80 professionals brings the resources and experience required to be an exceptional long-term partner in building world-class healthcare companies.
About Andera Partners (new investor) – www.anderapartners.com
Andera Partners, was created in 2001 as part of the Edmond de Rothschild Group and is a leader in investments in unlisted companies in France and internationally. It manages over €2 billion in investments in life sciences (BioDiscovery), growth capital and OBO (Winch Capital for midcap and Cabestan Capital for small-cap) and sponsorless mezzanine debt (ActoMezz).
Wholly owned by its staff, Andera Partners’ core values focus on partnering with entrepreneurs and respect for its business partners. The company is also a signatory to the UNPRI, the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, which aims to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into investment practice.
Andera Partners will continue to raise funds in its current segments. Andera Partners is an AMF accredited asset management company and has 55 employees, 40 of whom are investment professionals. The firm has a partnership management structure and is run by a board of 10 partners.
About Bpifrance (new investor) - www.bpifrance.fr
Bpifrance finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees and equity investments, but also offers extra financial services (e.g. training, consultancy…) It provides support so they can innovate and grow internationally. Bpifrance helps companies developing their export activities through a broad range of products. Bpifrance and its 48 regional offices give entrepreneurs access to a single, effective, local point of contact to help them meet their challenges.
For more information, please visit: www.bpifrance.fr and https://presse.bpifrance.fr/ - Follow us on Twitter: @Bpifrance - @BpifrancePresse
About Sofinnova Private Capital VII - www.sofinnova.fr
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over Europe, the US and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners seeks to invest as a lead or cornerstone investor in seed, start-ups, corporate spin-offs and late stage companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €1.9 billion under management.
About Morningside Venture Investments - www.morningside.com
Founded in Boston 30 years ago, Morningside is an active investor in venture-backed biotechnology start-ups. Licensing intellectual property from universities and research institutions, Morningside works with both academics and industry professionals to bring scientific discoveries into the clinic. The firm invests in novel therapeutic, diagnostics, and medical devices across many disease areas.
About InnoBio - www.bpifrance.fr
InnoBio is a EUR 173 million venture capital fund managed by Bpifrance, which is also an investor in the fund. Sanofi, GSK, Roche, Novartis, Pfizer, Lilly, Ipsen, Takeda and Boehringer-Ingelheim are among the other investors. The main aim of the fund is to make equity investments in innovative companies providing technology, products and services for health care.
About Inserm Transfert Initiative (ITI) - www.inserm-transfert-initiative.com
Inserm Transfert Initiative (ITI) is a French investment firm, based in Paris, dedicated to investing in early-stage life sciences companies which develop breakthrough innovations from French academia with high therapeutic potential.