— Proceeds dedicated to advance Herpes simplex treatment IM-250 to Phase II
— IM-250 demonstrates unprecedented impact on viral reservoir in preclinical studies
Innovative Molecules GmbH, a German, Munich-based drug development company focused on developing next-generation treatments for Herpes simplex-induced diseases, today announced the closing of its €20 million Series A equity financing round led by LSP (Life Sciences Partners).
The company will use the funds to advance its preclinical product candidate, IM-250, from the current late preclinical stage to a Phase 2 proof-of-concept study.
IM-250 is a potent inhibitor of Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) replication. The compound targets the helicase-primase enzyme complex of the virus. Due to its demonstrated impact on the viral reservoir in preclinical studies, IM-250 may become a game-changer for the treatment of HSV-related diseases due to its potential to alter the natural course of the disease.
Gerald Kleymann, founder & Chief Executive Officer at Innovative Molecules, comments: „Within the last 25 years the treatment of Herpes simplex has not seen an innovation that managed to reach the market. Our ambition is to change this. With IM-250 we will alter the way Herpes is treated. Our goal is to reduce or even eradicate the reservoir of the virus in order to achieve long-lasting effects, less recurrences and real benefits for patients.“
Joachim Rothe, Partner at LSP, complements: „I am pleased with LSP leading the investment syndicate of Innovative Molecules. There is an urgent medical need in Herpes-induced diseases. Current treatments have minimal efficacy and can‘t change the persistence of the infection. Moreover, resistance to todays’ standard treatments occur quite often and can lead to life-threatening complications or even to the death of patients.“
Thomas Hoffmann, co-founder & financial advisor to Innovative Molecules, states: „To have gained LSP as one of the leading European life sciences funds as the lead investor for this Series A financing round is truly a quality stamp for our project. We are looking forward to working together with LSP on this exciting drug development opportunity.“
A Baker McKenzie team of lawyers led by partner Berthold Hummel represented LSP as investor counsel and ZSP Zwicker Schnappauf Patentanwälte served as IP counsel. Frankus Rechtsanwälte (Torsten Bergau) represented the founders and the company.
About Herpes simplex infection and disease
Herpes simplex disease is a contagious, lifelong infection with high incidence and prevalence data, a quiet pandemic with a huge health burden and a risk factor for acquiring HIV & HPV and Alzheimer’s disease. At least 50 % of the population is infected with Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), mostly herpes labialis, whereas approx. 25% of the population is infected with Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), mostly genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection/disease. Latency is established for life by deposit of episomal HSV DNA in sensory neurons. Upon diverse stimuli HSV reactivates from the latent reservoir causing recurrent herpes disease. Up to 30% of patients suffer from frequent recurrences which could be painful, socially isolating and in immuno-compromised patients even life-threatening. There is no treatment currently available that reduces or eradicates the virus reservoir as such.
About Innovative Molecules
Innovative Molecules GmbH is a drug development company aiming for setting a new treatment standard for Herpes simplex induced diseases. The company is focusing on the development of IM-250, a potent, second generation helicase-primase inhibitor of HSV-1 and HSV-2. Due to its potency, excellent neuronal tissue exposure and long half-life, IM-250 has the potential to change the way Herpes simplex induced diseases are treated. Preclinical data indicates that IM-250 does not only block active viral replication but might be able to reduce or even eradicate the viral reservoir, ultimately leading to less recurrences or even to a cure from this latent, life-long infection.
For more information: www.innovativemolecules.com
LSP is one of the largest European investment firms providing financing for life sciences and health care companies. LSP’s management has raised over €2 billion ($2.3 billion) and developed more than 120 companies since it started to invest in 1988. With offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP currently has the possibility to invest from three funds, each having a distinctive investment scope and a dedicated team: LSP 6 invests in private early- to late-stage drug development and medical technology companies; LSP HEF 2 focuses on private late-stage medical technology companies with a health and economic benefit; and LSP Public targets public healthcare companies. Among LSP’s signature deals are Argenx, Crucell, KuDOS, Movetis, Neuravi, Okairos, Prosensa, Qiagen and Zealand Pharma.
For more information: www.lspvc.com