NAARDEN, Netherlands, & MUNICH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Forbion, a leading European life science venture capital firm, today announces that it has led a €17m Series C financing of OMEICOS Therapeutics GmbH, a privately held biopharmaceutical company based in Berlin, Germany.
Forbion is the only new investor participating in the financing round, contributing €12.5m from its recently launched Forbion IV Fund. Existing OMEICOS investors, Vesalius Biocapital II S.A. SICAR, Remiges BioPharma Fund, SMS Group GmbH, KFW Group, VC Fonds Technologie Berlin, High-Tech Gründerfonds and The Falck Revocable Trust participated in the financing.
OMEICOS is developing first-in-class small molecule therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and ophthalmic diseases. Epoxyeicosanoids are naturally occurring, but metabolically unstable, metabolites of omega-3 fatty acids that can activate anti-inflammatory, anti-arrhythmic and cardio protective pathways in heart cells. OMEICOS’ first-in-class small molecules are metabolically robust, synthetic analogs of epoxyeicosanoids. These can be administered orally and have shown improved biological activity and pharmacokinetic properties compared to their natural counterparts.
In July OMEICOS announced that a Phase I safety and tolerability study for its lead compound, OMT-28, designed for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, met its primary endpoint and that it intends to accelerate initiation of a Phase II trial.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of heart arrhythmia affecting an estimated 33.5 million people around the world (Circulation, 2013). Incidence is expected to increase over the next decade as life expectancy increases.
The proceeds from this round will finance PROMISE-AF, a placebo controlled, double-blinded, randomized, dose finding Phase II study on OMT-28 in maintenance of sinus rhythm after electrical cardioversion in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation.
Holger Reithinger, Ph.D., General Partner at Forbion commented: “After having closely monitored OMEICOS for some time, we felt really encouraged by their latest data in both atrial fibrillation and age-related macular degeneration, causing us to pull the trigger on an investment from our recently closed Forbion IV fund. Proceeds will be used to finance a Phase II trial with OMT-28, after the company generated excellent safety data in a Phase I trial. We see further upside potential of the compound class in additional indications beyond cardiology.”
As part of the financing round, Holger Reithinger will join the OMEICOS Board of Directors.
Dr. Robert Fischer, CEO and CSO of OMEICOS Therapeutics added: “This investment by Forbion is a great endorsement of the company and its team. With Forbion, OMEICOS gains a very knowledgable shareholder that will contribute to finetuning our plans to progress our development pipeline. This is a particularly exciting time for the OMEICOS team as we accelerate plans to initiate a Phase II study of OMT-28, our lead development candidate for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.”
Forbion is a dedicated life sciences venture capital firm with offices in The Netherlands and Germany. Forbion invests in life sciences companies that are active in the (bio-) pharmaceutical space. Forbion’s investment team has built an impressive performance track record since the late nineties with successful investments in over 50 companies. Forbion manages well over EUR 1 billion across ten funds. Forbion is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Besides financial objectives, Forbion selects investments that will positively affect health and well-being of patients. Its investors include the EIF, through its European Recovery Programme (ERP), LfA, Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI) facilities and AMUF facilities and the KFW through the ERP – Venture Capital Fondsfinanzierung facility. Forbion operates a joint venture with BGV, the manager of seed and early stage funds focused on Benelux and Germany. For more information, please visit: www.forbion.com.
OMEICOS Therapeutics is focused on developing a novel class of synthetic bioactive lipid mediators for the treatment of cardiovascular, ophthalmic and other chronic inflammatory diseases. OMEICOS’ compounds activate cell type-specific endogenous pathways that promote organ and tissue protection. OMEICOS’ small molecules are orally available but can be used in other application routes as well. OMEICOS has the exclusive, worldwide license for IP rights from Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany, and UT Southwestern, Texas, USA, to develop its lead compound OMT-28 and has established a comprehensive pipeline of discovery and pre-clinical stage compounds. OMEICOS is financed by a strong consortium of private and public VC investors and its research activities are supported by a grant from the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). For more information, please visit: www.omeicos.com