DUBLIN, Feb. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Priothera, a late-clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of its S1P receptor modulator drug, mocravimod, today announces that it has entered a Loan Agreement of €17.5 million with the European Investment Bank (EIB). This loan will further support a European, US and Asian registration-enabling clinical trial with mocravimod in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT).
The loan facility of €17.5 million is divided into two tranches, the first of which is €10 million and unconditional. Priothera will request payment of the first tranche in 2022 to expand the clinical development of mocravimod and prepare for its commercial drug supply. The second tranche of €7.5 million is available upon achievement of specific manufacturing, clinical and regulatory milestones and will be used to finance clinical validation in CAR-T cancer indications.
Florent Gros, Co-Founder and CEO of Priothera, comments: “We are very grateful for EIB’s support, a major and high quality European financial institution, as the Company is at an inflection point of its clinical development and potential commercialization path. This financing allows Priothera to extend its financial visibility to 2024, allowing us to complete a global registration-enabling clinical trial, as well as exploring other blood cancer indications for mocravimod. This new funding tool will help reinforce Priothera’s global lead in developing S1P receptor modulators in oncology.”
Christian Kettel Thomsen, Vice-President of the EIB, said: “The European Investment Bank Group supports development of innovative and pioneering treatments and medicine by leading biotech and medtech companies in Ireland and across Europe. Priothera’s new drugs offer an opportunity to revolutionise treatment of leukaemia and other cancers and the EIB is pleased to agree to €17.5 million of new financing to accelerate the clinical development and commercialization of mocravimod.”
Mocravimod (also known as KRP203), a propane-1,3-diol derivative, is a novel, synthetic, sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor (S1PR) agonist with long duration in the body. Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials successfully assessed mocravimod for safety and tolerability in several autoimmune indications. Promising data from a Ph1b/Ph2a clinical study with patients with haematological malignancies led Priothera to further develop mocravimod for the treatment of blood cancers.
Mocravimod will be investigated in a Phase 2b/3 study as a potential treatment for patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) receiving HSCT. Allogenic HSCT is the only potentially curative approach for AML patients but remains having unacceptably high mortality and morbidity rates with current treatments.
Priothera leverages S1PRs unique mode of action to maintain anti-leukaemia activity while reducing tissue damage resulting from graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a consequence of HSCT. This novel treatment approach – the only S1PR modulator treating blood cancers – tackles a high unmet medical need that intends to add quality life to patients.
Priothera is leading the way in developing orally applied sphingosine 1 phosphate (S1P) receptor modulators for haematological malignancies. S1P receptor modulators are known to largely reduce egress of T cells from lymphatic tissues and not being immunosuppressants, thereby allowing for inhibition of graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) while enhancing graft-versus-leukaemia benefits in patients receiving HSCT.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Priothera was founded in 2020 by an experienced team of drug development experts Drs. Florent Gros, Stephan Oehen, Dhaval Patel, Christoph Bucher, Simone Seiter, Philippe Lievre and Brice Suire.
Founding investors are Fountain Healthcare Partners (Dublin, Ireland), funds managed by Tekla Capital Management, LLC (Boston, Massachusetts), HealthCap (Stockholm, Sweden) and EarlyBird Venture Capital (Berlin, Germany).
For more information please visit: www.priothera.com
About the European Investment Bank (EIB)
The EIB is the European Union (EU) long-term financing institution and its shareholders are the 27 EU Member States. Its mission is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of EU Member States. It borrows large volumes of funds from the capital markets and lends them with very favourable terms to support projects which contribute to the achievement of EU objectives. The EIB is working to put the EU at the forefront of the next wave of innovation, especially in the health sector. In response to the Covid-19 health crisis, the EIB has released € 6 billion for investments in the health sector to support medical infrastructure, additional research activities or other financing related to vaccines and treatments. As a European bank supporting the climate, the EIB is one of the main fund providers in the green transition towards a more low-carbon and sustainable growth model.
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