ViGeneron’s pipeline in gene therapy addresses ophthalmic diseases with high unmet medical need, including two programs in development for undisclosed indications where no approved treatment options are currently available. ViGeneron GmbH, a gene therapy company, announced the closing of its series A financing round led by WuXi AppTec and Sequoia Capital China. The proceeds will enable ViGeneron to accelerate its proprietary viral vector-based gene therapy platforms and drive product development in its two lead ophthalmic gene therapy programs.
ViGeneron is a spin-off of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich. The company’s founding team includes highly experienced executives and internationally renowned experts with track records in developing retinal gene therapy programs from discovery to clinical stage: Dr. Caroline Man Xu (Co-founder and CEO), Prof. Dr. Martin Biel (Scientific Co-founder), and Prof. Dr. Stylianos Michalakis (Scientific Co-founder).
The company’s two novel next-generation gene therapy platforms are geared towards addressing the limitations of existing adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies. The vgAAV vector platform, based on novel engineered AAV capsids, enables a superior transduction of target cells and is designed to efficiently cross biological barriers. These attributes allow vgAAV vectors to target a broad spectrum of cell types in the retina and potentially other tissues, such as central nervous system tissue; enabling intravitreal, less invasive treatment administration. For larger genes (>5Kb) the company has developed the innovative REVeRT vector platform. This platform uses an innovative vector approach to pack split genes into individual vgAAV vectors and generate a full-length protein via mRNA trans-splicing.
Dr. Caroline Man Xu, Co-founder and CEO of ViGeneron said: “The evolution of medicines from small molecules to proteins has driven increased therapeutic benefits in the past; the next generation of gene therapies holds tremendous promise for patients. We are passionate about bringing innovations to patients. This financing is an important validation of our next-generation gene therapy technology platforms and ophthalmic development programs. With these top-tier investors and a strong ophthalmologic network supporting us, we are now in an excellent position to accelerate our development programs.”
Edward Hu, Co-CEO of WuXi AppTec, commented: “We are impressed by ViGeneron’s vgAAV vector platform and the innovative REVeRT vector platform. These gene therapy platform technologies will potentially generate superior gene therapy products to treat a wide range of diseases that are traditionally difficult to treat. We look forward to supporting the company to deliver on its great promises for the patients in need.”
Source: ViGeneron GmbH