The new funds will allow the company to pursue its research on arsenic trioxide and continue its promising clinical trials for autoimmune diseases, such as severe Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD)
Medsenic, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the treatment of autoimmune diseases with arsenic salts, announced its latest fundraising of €2 million.
There are about 150 autoimmune diseases, affecting more than 6% of the global population. It is the third cause of death after cancers and cardiovascular disease.
GvHD is an autoimmune disease that occurs after an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (often derived from bone marrow). Chronic GvHD affects about 16,000 people in the EU and 20,000 in the US and Canada, which makes it a rare disease.
Lupus affects between 160,000 and 300,000 patients in Europe.
Arsenic trioxide has already been proven to be an effective treatment against autoimmune mechanisms and several autoimmune diseases could benefit from a similar treatment, especially with a short intravenous injection cycle.
Véronique Pomi-Schneiter, Executive Director of Medsenic, said: "With this additional fundraising, Medsenic strategy is stronger and will soon lead to more clinical evidence of the therapeutic value of our concept: a treatment for various autoimmune diseases with arsenic salts. We are preparing Medsenic for the future, by reinforcing our intellectual property, together with a tailor-made regulatory and industrial strategy."
"The very promising progress of Medsenic, the efficiency of the management team and the very attractive perspectives convinced us to intensify our support and give Medsenic the funds to develop in the best way," said Jean-Francois Rax, Director of participations at Cap Innov'Est.
"The great motivation of the management team, the significant ongoing clinical test progress and the very encouraging data, have convinced Fa Dièse to bring additional financial support to strengthen the development plan of Medsenic," said Bernard Emery, for Fa Dièse.
This new fundraising, will allow the company to further develop its treatment in the autoimmune field, using arsenic trioxide. Currently, this treatment is applied to chronic GvHD, in a phase II clinical trial, with multiple national clinical centres.
cGvHD is a reaction of the immunocompetent cells of the donor against the host tissues, which can be fatal for the patient and currently has no efficient treatment. Medsenic wants therefore to offer a new solution for this life-threatening disease and contribute to solve this unmet medical need.
Medsenic has already established the potential effectiveness of this medication through a Phase IIa clinical trial on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (2015). This study has revealed a good tolerance of the product and a strong potential efficacy. A Phase IIb clinical trial is currently planned.