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NodThera raises £44m to develop new class of medicines to fight inflammatory diseases

NodThera has raised £44million ($55m) in a Series B funding round to help progress its new class of medicines, designed to fight inflammatory diseases.

The financing was led by Novo Ventures, part of Novo Holdings, which described the Chesterford Research Park-based biotech company’s strategy as “enormously promising”.

Chronic inflammation is implicated in a wide range of diseases (36014446)
Chronic inflammation is implicated in a wide range of diseases (36014446)

NodThera is focused on the NLRP3 inflammasome - a protein complex that plays a key role in regulating inflammation.

A huge range of human diseases involve inflammation, including fibrosis, Alzheimer’s and cancer. In fact, three out of five people die due to chronic inflammatory diseases.

NodThera’s aim is to stop chronic inflammation at the source before it develops.

NodThera’s lead candidate, called NT-0167, is being evaluated in a phase I clinical trial in healthy volunteers.

Preclinical studies showed it demonstrated potent and selective inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome, resulting in reductions of pro-inflammatory cytokines known as IL-1β and IL-18, which are known to play a key role in chronic inflammation underlying a wide range of diseases.

New investors Cowen Healthcare Investments and Sanofi Ventures also joined the round, along with existing investors 5AM Ventures, Epidarex Capital, F-Prime Capital and Sofinnova Partners.

Adam Keeney, president and CEO of NodThera, said: “We are very pleased to have attracted a world-class syndicate of life science investors led by Novo Ventures, to develop this new class of medicines to treat diseases driven by chronic inflammation.

“The continued advancement of our lead molecule through clinical development represents a significant achievement in our work to exploit the still untapped therapeutic potential of selectively targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome.”

The financing will support the progression of NodThera’s lead candidate through clinical development, and help it advance its pipeline of other small molecule NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors.

Joint pain can be caused by inflammation (36014464)
Joint pain can be caused by inflammation (36014464)

It will also enable the company to continue its development of additional compounds, including brain-penetrant NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors for central nervous system indications, along with continued drug discovery efforts.

Nanna Lüneborg, partner at US-based Novo Ventures, who will join the board NodThera, said: “Millions of people live with diseases in which chronic inflammation plays a role.

“NodThera’s approach to selectively targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome without broadly suppressing the immune system is an enormously promising strategy for developing therapies that can help these patients.

“We have followed NodThera for several years, and we are delighted to support the company in this financing. This is a great example of how we look to invest in potential world class opportunities by backing great teams and great science in areas of major unmet medical need.”

Naveed Siddiqi, a partner at Novo Ventures, added: “Our investment strategy is to identify and invest in US, Europe or Asian life science companies which are true leaders in their areas of expertise, developing innovative products that significantly advance patient care.

“Europe continues to be an attractive region for both life science innovation and investment despite the current Covid-19 related uncertainties, and Novo Ventures is proud to be one of the most active investors in Europe leading and supporting large equity financings in pre-clinical to late stage private and public companies.

“Our international investment team’s long and diverse experience and deep capital pool enables us to support companies through to key value inflection points. We are thrilled to add NodThera to our growing European portfolio.”

NodThera, which also has US offices in Boston and Seattle, raised $40m in June 2018 in its Series A fundraising round led by Sofinnova Partners.and 5AM Ventures, with participation from Epidarex Capital and F-Prime Capital.

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