- VarmX develops innovative reversal agents for the treatment and prevention of severe bleeding in patients on oral anticoagulants
- Proceeds will be used to achieve clinical proof of concept for lead compound, VMX-C001, advance program to registrational studies, accelerate manufacturing trajectory towards commercial scale, and advance the discovery platform program
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 8 July 2020 – LSP today announced that VarmX, a biotech company focusing on the development of innovative approaches for the reversal of anticoagulation, closed a EUR 32 million Series B financing round, with new investors LSP, Ysios Capital, INKEF Capital and Lundbeckfonden Ventures joining. Existing investors BioGeneration Ventures and the regional economic development fund InnovationQuarter also participated in the round.
Currently, over 10 million patients in the US and Europe are treated with oral factor Xa inhibitors (FXa DOACs) as anticoagulation therapy in large chronic indications such as the avoidance of stroke in atrial fibrillation and the prevention of deep vein thrombosis. Each year, 2-3% of patients taking FXa DOACs experience spontaneous and severe life-threatening bleeding. Furthermore, a significant number of patients taking these anticoagulants have to undergo emergency surgery, with the associated risk of bleeding.
VarmX’s lead compound VMX-C001 is a modified recombinant coagulation factor X in development for the treatment of severe spontaneous bleeding in patients taking FXa DOACs. It is also aimed at the prevention of bleeding in patients requiring emergency surgery. VMX-C001 is insensitive to FXa DOACS and is able to restore the coagulation cascade. It is expected to offer a number of clinical advantages, including universal dosing regardless of the FXa DOACs used, ease of administration and absence of pro-thrombotic risk. In addition to VMX-C001, VarmX is also working on other innovative agents that are aimed at the reversal of future classes of anticoagulants, particularly those targeting factor XI(a).
VMX-C001 is based on research conducted by VarmX’s founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Pieter Reitsma, Professor Emeritus at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). VarmX has obtained an exclusive license to these inventions.
The proceeds from the Series B financing will enable the company to obtain clinical proof of concept through a first in human (FIH) study of VMX-C001, and to further progress the program towards the start of registrational studies in both the severe bleeding and emergency surgery indications. The company will also use the funds to accelerate the manufacturing trajectory for VMX-C001 towards commercial-scale, extend profiling studies for optimal clinical and commercial positioning, and advance its discovery platform program for next generation reversal agents.
In the context of accelerated manufacturing, VarmX recently appointed Dr. Bo Persson as SVP, CMC Development & Project Management. Dr. Persson has extensive experience with the production of recombinant blood factors from his tenure at Novo Nordisk, CMC biologics (now AGC) and Zymogenetics. VarmX is planning to further strengthen the team with the recruitment of an experienced Chief Medical Officer.
VarmX is also announcing additions to the company’s Board of Directors. John de Koning of LSP, Guillem Laporta of Ysios Capital, Roel Bulthuis of INKEF Capital, and Casper Breum of Lundbeckfonden Ventures will represent the new investors on the Board of VarmX, joining Oskar Slotboom of BioGeneration Ventures, CEO Alexander Vos, and Chairman Jan Öhrström.
Commenting on this successful closing of the Series B financing, Alexander Vos, CEO of VarmX, said: “We are delighted to have attracted leading European investors to join the VarmX story. This is great validation of our approach and science. These proceeds will enable us to accelerate the manufacturing trajectory and bring VMX-C001 into clinical trials. We look forward to bringing VMX-C001 to patients who currently have limited options to effective and safe treatments.”