STOCKHOLM, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Wilson Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has closed a $40 million Series B financing co-led by new investors, Abingworth LLP and MVM Life Science Partners LLP ("MVM"). The company's founding investor, HealthCap, also participated in the round.
"We are pleased with this significant support from our new as well as existing investors, who represent some of the most experienced in the global life sciences industry," said Jonas Hansson, Chief Executive Officer of Wilson Therapeutics. "Their combined experience and financial backing will enable us to advance WTX101 through clinical development with the aim of making it available and addressing the unmet medical needs in patients with Wilson's disease."
Wilson Therapeutics will use these funds to advance the clinical development of WTX101 (bis-choline tetrathiomolybdate), a novel de-coppering agent being developed as a new treatment for Wilson's disease. Wilson's disease is a rare genetic disorder that prevents the body from regulating copper and can lead to serious liver and brain damage.
"We are excited to be supporting this strong team, including Jonas Hansson and Hugh Rienhoff, who has significant prior experience and success at developing a chelator for an orphan disease indication," said Bali Muralidhar, M.D., Ph.D., Partner at MVM. "This is an area of significant unmet need and WTX101 offers a highly differentiated new treatment option."
"We believe that the demonstrated and differentiated clinical profile of WTX101, and specifically its potential to avoid the often debilitating side effects of existing therapies, will make this compound the cornerstone of treatment for Wilson's disease in the coming decades," said Genghis Lloyd-Harris, M.D., Ph.D., Partner at Abingworth.
Drs. Lloyd-Harris and Muralidhar will both join the Wilson Therapeutics Board of Directors.
WTX101 is the proprietary bis-choline salt of tetrathiomolybdate (TTM), which has been evaluated for various indications in clinical studies involving over 500 patients. Through its unique mechanism of action, TTM has been shown to rapidly lower and control copper levels in both Wilson's disease and other patients. Previous data also suggest that TTM may stabilize neurological function and reduce the risk of neurological deterioration after initiation of treatment in Wilson's disease patients with neurological involvement. WTX101 has been shown to lower and maintain copper levels with once or twice daily oral dosing. WTX101 has received orphan drug designation in both the United States and the European Union.
About Wilson Therapeutics
Wilson Therapeutics is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on improving the lives of patients with Wilson's disease through development of new treatment options and support for increased awareness and education about Wilson's disease. The Company's lead product candidate, WTX101, is currently in clinical development as a treatment for Wilson's disease, a rare genetic disease that affects approximately 1 in 15,000 people worldwide. Wilson Therapeutics was founded by HealthCap, one of the largest venture capital firms in Europe specialized in life sciences. Visit www.wilsontherapeutics.com for more information.
HealthCap is an independent venture capital firm exclusively dedicated to life science investments. Its focus is on breakthrough therapies that address unmet medical needs and aim to bring significant value to patients and society. The firm has done close to 100 investments, including 30 start-ups, and made more than 50 exits. Since its inception in 1996, HealthCap has raised more than €900 million from a group of long-term international investors, making it one of the largest specialized providers of venture capital to launch and build transforming companies that make a difference. www.healthcap.se
About Abingworth LLP
Abingworth is an international investment group dedicated exclusively to the life sciences and healthcare sectors. The firm invests across all stages of company development including early and late-stage private deals, VIPEs (Venture Investments in Public Equities) venture growth and public companies. Founded in 1973, Abingworth has a lengthy track record of building market leading companies. The specialist team of 16 professionals has a broad range of skills, including scientific and business expertise as well as investment banking, recruitment and legal knowledge. These resources are made available to portfolio companies. Abingworth has funds under management of over $1.25 billion and offices in London, Menlo Park (California) and Boston. www.abingworth.com
About MVM Life Science Partners LLP
MVM Life Science Partners LLP is a premier global healthcare venture capital firm that has been investing in emerging healthcare companies since 1998. Its three funds under management total $500 million and its team of executives is located in London and Boston. www.mvm.com
SOURCE Wilson Therapeutics