Published On: Sun, Jul 15th, 2018

Sickle cell disease drug developer Modus Therapeutics raises $16m in new funding

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Modus Therapeutics, a Swedish biotech company focused on developing sickle cell disease drugs, has raised SEK 140 million ($15.76 million) in a funding round led by new investor HealthCap, a European venture capital firm.

HealthCap, which makes investments in breakthrough therapies of diseases with highly unmet medical needs, had injected SEK 60 million ($6.75 million) in Modus Therapeutics in what is a Series A funding round.

The Swedish biotech company expects the new funds to be utilized on advancing the clinical development of its lead sickle cell disease drug – . A polysaccharide drug with anti-adhesive, anti-aggregate and anti-inflammatory effects owing to its multimodal mechanism of action, sevuparin is currently being assessed in a phase 2 clinical trial.

Modus Therapeutics is developing a sickle cell disease drug called sevuparin.

Modus Therapeutics is developing a sickle cell disease drug called sevuparin. Photo courtesy of Dr Graham Beards/Wikipedia.org.

Ellen K Donnelly – CEO of Modus Therapeutics, commenting on the new funding raised for the development of the sickle cell disease drug, said: “We welcome the support of HealthCap, a high-profile life science investor, alongside the continuing commitment of our existing shareholders. The funds that we have raised will allow us to complete our current Phase II trial with sevuparin in patients with SCD and commence a new program focused on a subcutaneous formulation.”

According to Modus Therapeutics, sevuparin is capable of restoring blood flow and curb further microvascular obstructions in children and adults having sickle cell disease.

HealthCap Partner , commenting on the company’s investment in the sickle cell disease drugmaker, said: “HealthCap sees ample opportunities for Modus Therapeutics’ orphan drug candidate sevuparin to be an important for SCD patients. We look forward to the next important step in the company’s development, which is the completion of the ongoing Phase II study and prepare for pivotal studies.”

Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder known for causing severe pain that eventually damages organs and is said to affect 90,000-100,000 individuals in the US alone.

In mid-April, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) granted rare pediatric disease designation to the sevuparin sickle cell disease drug.

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