Switzerland's Genkyotex has gathered together $21 million in its latest venture round, which is designed to get their lead NOX inhibitor through a midstage proof-of-concept study and right up to the threshold of a possible IPO as they beef up the pipeline.
NeoMed Management co-led the round with VI Partners and BioMedInvest, all new investors. They joined Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Eclosion2 and Vesalius Biocapital Partners in the deal. Dr. Claudio Nessi of NeoMed will join Genkyotex's Board.
Genkyotex is focused on the idea that blocking NOX enzymes can thwart reactive oxygen species, which plays a role in diseases like diabetes and cardiology.
|Genkyotex CEO Ursula Ney|
"This is clearly a first-in-class drug we're working on," says CEO Ursula Ney about the biotech's NOX1&4 inhibitor, GKT137831. The biotech is tackling diabetic nephropathy as the first of several promising targets for a NOX-inhibition approach that has a broad antifibrotic effect, with potential in NASH, scleroderma and more.
"We know NOX4 has a role in the kidney," she adds. The Phase II study has already begun after enrolling 155 patients and should read out in the middle of this year, says Ney. And that point could mark a major crossroad for the company.
"We have positively avoided doing licensing deals," adds the CEO. "The investors feel we have something of quite high value," so the plan now is to get to proof-of-concept under their own steam and then see if the time is ripe to file for an IPO, possibly on Nasdaq, which has attracted a number of European biotechs in the last year.
Adds Ney: "I think what's really important is that we're on the threshold of confirming the potential of a new class of drugs, and we're a leader in the field. Our time is coming."
Genkyotex has now raised about $72 million for its work.
- here's the release