4BIO Capital which are an international venture capital firm focused solely on the advanced therapies sector, announces its investment in SparingVision, a genomic medicine company focused on ocular diseases. The round was led by 4BIO Capital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre Enterprise (“UMPCE”) and included Jeito Capital (“Jeito”) and Ysios Capital (“Ysios”). In addition, current investors Bpifrance and Foundation Fighting Blindness (“FFB”) participated in the round.
The proceeds will enable SparingVision to advance the development of its breakthrough treatment SPVN06 for the mutation-agnostic treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (“RP”). Most notably the funding will support SparingVision’s GMP activities (including the manufacturing of a first clinical batch of the product, currently ongoing), the IND/CTA regulatory activities and the conduct of a first-in-man study, scheduled to start in 2021. The Company also intends to further expand its management team, following the appointment of Stéphane Boissel as CEO, also announced today, and commence operations in the US.
SPVN06 is a proprietary, mutation-agnostic, AAV gene therapy comprised of one neurotrophic factor and one oxidative stress reducing enzyme which, acting synergistically, aim to slow or stop the degeneration of photoreceptors. Loss of photoreceptors leads to blindness in RP, one of the most common inherited retinal diseases that affects two million patients worldwide. There is currently no treatment approved for RP patients independently of their genetic background.
Owen Smith, Investment Director at 4BIO Capital will join SparingVision’s Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director.
Owen Smith, Investment Director, 4BIO Capital said, “SparingVision embodies everything we want from a new investment, next generation gene therapy, in an area of high unmet need, developed by world leading scientists and with a strong management team poised to deliver. SPVN06 has the potential to avoid legal blindness in millions of patients with RP and could form the basis of a strong pipeline of ocular disease therapies in the future. We look forward to working with Stéphane and the team to drive SparingVision into the next exciting stage of its development.”
Commenting on the successful fundraise, Stéphane Boissel, SparingVision President and Chief Executive Officer added, “We are delighted to have closed this financing round, which demonstrates the excitement around SparingVision’s lead compound, SPVN06.
“With its singular mutation-agnostic approach, SPVN06 could have a much broader commercial potential than most gene therapy products for RP currently in development and will be used as an anchor to build an economically-viable portfolio of therapies in the field of ophthalmology. Our shareholders, both new and existing, are all long-term, strategic and patient-centric investors that share our vision and we are excited to be working with them to achieve our goals.”