PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ermium Therapeutics, a Paris-based biotech company developing innovative health products for auto-immune diseases, announced today the extension of its initial funding of €6.3 M to €12.3 M with Kurma Partners and Fountain Healthcare Partners.
The company is discovering and developing small molecules, orally available, that are aimed at addressing a range of chronic auto-immune diseases, affecting millions of people worldwide, and particularly type I interferon-mediated diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), dermatomyositis, Sjögren syndrome, and monogenic interferonopathies. Ermium proprietary compounds are intended to be first-in-class acting on a well-known G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), namely the CXCR4 chemokine receptor, via a totally novel mechanism of action. The main property of Ermium CXCR4-targeted functionally selective immunomodulators is to potently abolish the release of type I interferons by immune cells, and also other key inflammatory cytokines.
The €6 M proceeds will be used to reach the milestones of drug candidate selection, extend the non-clinical development package, and drive continued efforts on the pharmacological package in support of the early clinical development program in SLE and other auto-immune diseases.
Fountain Healthcare Partners, a transatlantic life science investor, is joining and widening the Ermium Therapeutics initial investment syndicate composed of Kurma Partners, Eurazeo, Domain Therapeutics, and Erganeo.
“I am thrilled to close this extension funding which reflects the confidence of our historical investors along with the commitment of Fountain Healthcare Partners which we are welcoming with enthusiasm. Altogether, this further validates all the efforts the company team has made since the company inception, and also the promising therapeutic potential of the first in class immunomodulators we are developing; Moreover, it will allow our program to move on up to the selection of a drug candidate, with the goal to address a huge medical need for patients suffering from interferonopathies”, said Joël CROUZET, CEO of Ermium Therapeutics.
“We were very impressed by the work accomplished by the team at Ermium Therapeutics. We were quickly convinced of the significant commercial opportunity that could be realized with this investment and the potential application of Ermium’s lead development candidate across a variety of auto-immune disease indications. We are particularly delighted to join Kurma, Eurazeo, Domain Therapeutics, and Erganeo in advancing Ermium Therapeutics first in class compounds to address the high unmet medical need in interferonopathies such as SLE”, added Aidan KING, Managing Partner of Fountain Healthcare Partners and newly appointed member of Ermium Therapeutics board of directors.
“We are particularly proud and impressed by the advances performed by Ermium Therapeutics since the initial funding, based on breakthrough science and a highly innovative approach for critical medical needs such as SLE. This extension funding will accelerate the company development and allow its exciting program to move on towards the first steps of non-clinical development”, concluded Thierry LAUGEL, Managing Partner of Kurma Partners and member of Ermium Therapeutics board of directors.
About Ermium Therapeutics: Ermium Therapeutics, a discovery stage company, was founded in June 2019 by Dr Jean-Philippe Herbeuval (CNRS – Université Paris Cité), Kurma Partners, Domain Therapeutics, and Erganeo. Ermium Therapeutics breakthrough first in class compounds are CXCR4-targeted functionally selective immunomodulators; those orally available compounds are aimed to be developed for auto-immune disease indications, particularly interferonopathies, including SLE. Such immunomodulators exhibit potent anti-inflammatory properties by efficiently downmodulating the release of type I interferons, and also other key proinflammatory cytokines. The company has obtained in vivo POC in different auto-immune / inflammatory disease models. Ermium Therapeutics is based at the Paris Biotech Santé Incubator – Accelerator located at the Cochin Hospital in Paris. The company has signed a worldwide exclusive license agreement on intellectual property from the CNRS and the Université Paris Cité through an agreement with Erganeo. Ermium Therapeutics has received grants and soft loans from Bpifrance, the French agency for innovation. www.ermium.com
About Fountain Healthcare Partners: Fountain Healthcare Partners is a life science focused venture capital fund with over EUR 300 million (USD 354 million) under management. Within the life science sector, specific areas of interest to Fountain Healthcare Partners include biotechnology, medical devices, specialty pharma and diagnostics. Fountain invests in entrepreneurs and companies with disruptive technologies or products that have a clear pharmacoeconomic benefit and a defined pathway to commercialisation, value enhancement and exit. Fountain’s main office is in Dublin, Ireland, with a second office in New York. The firm deploys the majority of its capital in Europe, with the balance in the United States. www.fh-partners.com
About Kurma Partners: Kurma Partners is a key European Venture Capital firm specialized in healthcare, with more than €700 million under management, with two dedicated franchises: “Kurma Biofund” focused on venture investments in therapeutics (current active fund KBIII) and “Kurma Diagnostics” focused on venture investment in diagnostics and digital health (current active fund Kurma Dx2). Kurma Partners has launched its first “Growth Opportunity Fund” further to its first closing in early 2022. Kurma Partners is part of the Eurazeo Group. www.kurmapartners.com
Joël Crouzet, PhD, CEO
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