Strong support from high-quality new and existing investors provides capital for opelconazole development and pre-commercialization activities well beyond ongoing registration studies
LONDON, Dec. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pulmocide Ltd., (“the Company”) a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel inhaled therapies for patients suffering from serious acute and chronic respiratory diseases, today announces it has raised $52 million in a Series C extension round led by new investors Pictet Alternative Advisors and Vivo Capital. Existing investors, SV Health Investors, Jeito Capital, SR One, IP Group plc, F-Prime Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Adjuvant Capital, Asahi Kasei Pharma, Longwood Fund, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, also participated. This brings the total raise for Series C to $147.5 million.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to further fund clinical development, manufacturing scale-up, and preparation for potential commercialization of opelconazole. Opelconazole is a potent, novel triazole antifungal that has been specifically designed for use as an inhaled therapy against pulmonary aspergillosis. Based on encouraging data with opelconazole in patients that had failed multiple previous therapies for serious Aspergillus infections, the Company has initiated a global registration program to test the compound when given in addition to current standard of care against invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in patients failing first line therapy. The Company is also conducting a Phase 2b clinical trial using opelconazole as a monotherapy for prophylaxis against aspergillus infections in patients following lung transplant surgery.
“We are thrilled with the support from both our new and existing investors in advancing Pulmocide’s mission,” said Daniel Burgess, Chairman and CEO of Pulmocide. “Together with the $95 million raised last year, we are well positioned to move opelconazole through late-stage development and to prepare to bring this potentially important new therapy to patients desperately in need of new treatment options.”
About Pulmonary Aspergillosis
The incidence of pulmonary fungal disease has increased substantially over the past two decades with Aspergillus species being the most common pathogen. Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates in immuno-compromised patients including those undergoing hematological stem cell or solid organ transplantation (particularly lung transplants) and some patients in critical care, including those with COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis. Aspergillus infection also plays an important role in severe asthma and cystic fibrosis and has been correlated with poorer clinical outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic lung infections with Aspergillus can leave patients with extensive and permanent lung damage, requiring a lifetime of antifungal treatment.
Pulmocide’s opelconazole is a potent novel azole therapy specifically designed for inhaled use to maximize the amount of drug in the lung while providing minimal systemic exposure. This profile is anticipated to enhance efficacy with a low risk for adding to the toxicities and drug-drug interactions seen with systemic antifungal therapies. Under the United Kingdom’s Special Needs provision, opelconazole was found to be generally well tolerated and demonstrated remarkable clinical responses. In this program, patients with a variety of different clinical profiles that had failed previous antifungal treatment options responded well when opelconazole was added to their treatment regimen. Opelconazole has the potential to be useful in a variety of conditions where Aspergillus has been implicated, including chronic pulmonary aspergillosis, cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, severe flu, and post-COVID-19-associated lung damage. A late-stage clinical program has been initiated to support registration in patients who have failed prior therapy for IPA.
Pulmocide Ltd (www.pulmocide.com) is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of a novel inhaled azole therapy for patients at risk of developing serious complications associated with aspergillosis, such as immunocompromised patients and those with severe pulmonary diseases. The company is currently focused on acute and chronic treatments for pulmonary aspergillosis and its lead product opelconazole is being developed initially for the treatment of IPA.
About the Pictet Group
Pictet is a partnership of eight owner-managers. The Group’s principles of succession and transmission of ownership have remained unchanged since foundation in 1805. It exclusively offers wealth management, asset management, alternative investments and other asset-related services. The Group does not engage in investment banking, nor does it extend commercial loans. With EUR 613 billion (USD 600 billion / CHF 591 billion / GBP 538 billion) in assets under management or custody as of 30 September 2022, Pictet is today one of the leading Europe-based independent wealth and asset managers.
The Group is headquartered in Geneva, where its activities began, and employs more than 5000 employees. With 30 offices, it is also present in: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel, Brussels, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, Lausanne, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Monaco, Montreal, Munich, Nassau, New York, Osaka, Paris, Rome, Singapore, Shanghai, Stuttgart, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Turin, Verona and Zurich.
Pictet Alternative Advisors provides investment in alternative investment portfolios for private and institutional clients of Pictet Asset Management and Pictet Wealth Management.
About Vivo Capital
Founded in 1996, Vivo Capital is a leading global healthcare investment firm with a diverse, multi-fund investment platform in venture capital, growth equity, buyout, and public equities. The Firm has approximately $6.4 billion in assets under management and has invested in over 290 public and private companies worldwide. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with additional offices in Asia, the Vivo team consists of more than 50 multi-disciplinary professionals. Vivo invests broadly in healthcare across all fund strategies, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and healthcare services, with a focus on the largest healthcare markets globally.
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Chief Business Officer
Elizabeth Miller, M.D.