Dutch Company Xenikos Secures USD 30 Million in Series B Financing
Financing round led by Medicxi together with RA Capital Management
Funding will enable Phase 3 clinical testing of T-Guard for treatment of GVHD to begin in early 2019
Nijmegen, the Netherlands, May 15, 2018 -Xenikos B.V., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company currently developing a novel therapy for treating acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), announced today the receipt of USD 30 million from a Series B financing. Two new investors in the Company - Medicxi and RA Capital Management – participated in the financing round. The funds will be used to advance the development of Xenikos’ lead compound, T-Guard®, including conducting clinical Phase 3 registration trials in the US and EU, arranging commercial-scale production, and submitting the relevant applications for market approval. In connection with this financing, Dr. Jon Edwards of Medicxi and Dr. Jake Simson of RA Capital will join Xenikos’ Board of Directors.
“We are extremely pleased to have the support of these top-tier investors not just in terms of financing but also for the expertise and insight they bring to Xenikos. We very much look forward to welcoming Dr. Edwards and Dr. Simson to our Board of Directors at this important stage of development for the Company,” said Dr. Ypke van Oosterhout, Chief Executive Officer of Xenikos. “This round of financing is a critical milestone in our Company’s history, helping us bring T-Guard to market for treating steroid-resistant aGVHD in both the US and the EU. Based on the encouraging results of Phase 1/2 testing, we are confident that TGuard has the potential to help cure patients who develop this devastating and often fatal condition. We are fully committed to moving T-Guard into Phase 3 testing as soon as possible.”
“We are excited to back Xenikos and their mission of bringing a new treatment to patients suffering from aGVHD. This is a very challenging indication with few options available and we feel T-Guard has the potential to significantly improve outcomes,” said Dr. Jon Edwards, Principal at Medicxi. “The investment is a perfect fit for our growth fund which has the goal of supporting European companies developing innovative therapies. We look forward to working with the Xenikos team and supporting their efforts.”
"Transplantation medicine has been starved of innovation for decades. For the thousands of patients receiving an allograft each year, GVHD can dash the hopes of recovery and cure,” added Dr. Jake Simson, Principal at RA Capital. “We are excited to team with Xenikos to help realize their life-long mission of bringing T-Guard to the fight against aGVHD."
T-Guard is designed to treat steroid-resistant acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), a life-threatening immunological condition that often develops in patients following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. TGuard consists of a unique combination of toxin-conjugated monoclonal antibodies that target the CD3 and CD7 molecules on T cells and NK cells. Preclinical and early clinical testing showed that T-Guard can safely and swiftly restore the immune system in patients. T-Guard specifically identifies and eliminates mature T cells and NK cells, with high preference for activated T cells. In preclinical testing, T-Guard efficiently and selectively targeted these cells by activating non-inflammatory apoptotic mechanisms, with minimal treatment-related side effects. T-Guard’s brief, targeted action significantly limits the patient’s vulnerability to opportunistic infection compared to currently available therapies. T-Guard has been granted Orphan Drug Designation in both the EU and US.
Xenikos successfully completed a Phase 1/2 study in 20 patients with severe steroid-refractory aGVHD. The results of this study indicate that T-Guard requires only one week of treatment in order to help restore the immune system’s natural balance, offering a curative approach to patients with this severe and often fatal complication. US and EU Phase 3 registration trials for the treatment of steroid-resistant aGVHD are planned to begin in 2019. Other potential applications for T-Guard include transplant-related rejection, acute solid-organ rejection, and several autoimmune diseases.
Medicxi is based in London, Geneva and Jersey. The firm's mission is to invest across the full healthcare continuum. Medicxi was established by the former Index Ventures life sciences team and continues to manage the legacy life sciences portfolio of Index Ventures. Medicxi has also recently launched two new funds - Medicxi Ventures 1 (MV1) and Medicxi Growth 1 (MG1) – that focus respectively on early-stage and late-stage investments in life sciences. GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Novartis, three of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies back Medicxi along with Verily, an Alphabet company. These companies, whilst participating in the SABs of the Medicxi funds, do not receive any preferential rights to the portfolio companies.
Medicxi’s team has been investing in life sciences for over 20 years and has backed many successful companies, including Genmab (NASDAQ Copenhagen: GEN), PanGenetics (sold to AbbVie), Micromet (sold to Amgen), Molecular Partners (SWX: MOLN), XO1 (sold to Janssen), Minerva Neurosciences (NASDAQ: NERV), Padlock Therapeutics (sold to Bristol-Myers Squibb) and Impact Biomedicines (sold to Celgene). Please see http://www.medicxi.com for more information.
About RA Capital Management
RA Capital Management is a multi-stage investment manager dedicated to evidence-based investing in public and private healthcare and life science companies that are developing drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics. At RA Capital’s core is its TechAtlas research division, a scientifically trained team that maps out competitive landscapes in a continual effort to put data into context, identify breakthroughs, and originate conviction in new ideas. Please visit http://racapitalmanagement.com for more information.