Company with ‘gene pill’ receives funding

Canada-based EnGene Inc, which has developed a gene-based technology to treat autoimmune diseases, has raised $11.5 million in a Series B investment round. The funds will be used to advance the lead product which is intended to treat ulcerative colitis.

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Jan 31, 2015
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Canada-based EnGene Inc, which has developed a gene-based technology to treat autoimmune diseases, has raised $11.5 million in a Series B investment round. The funds will be used to advance the lead product which is intended to treat ulcerative colitis.

The investment round, announced on 26 January 2015, was led by Forbion Capital Partners of the Netherlands. Proceeds from the financing round will be used to bring the lead product, EG-12, into Phase 1/2 clinical studies.

EG-12 consists of a biopolymer-based carrier that delivers DNA encoding the interleukin-10 (IL-10) protein directly to the colon. IL-10 exists naturally in the body and plays a dominant role in the induction and maintenance of immune tolerance. However certain individuals have genetic defects within the IL-signaling pathway. EG-12 reportedly turns cells in the gut lining into factories to make IL-10. The company claims that its technology will induce immune tolerance for patients with ulcerative colitis better than existing protein-based therapeutics.

Using the new funds, the company will also work on an oral formulation of its DNA carrier to create a ‘gene pill’. The pill could be used to turn the gut into an endogenous production site for a wide range of therapeutic proteins, said Sander van Deventer, managing partner at Forbion.

Copyright 2015 Evernow Publishing Ltd

Go to the profile of Victoria English

Victoria English

Editor, MedNous, a publication of Evernow Publishing Ltd

Co-founder and editor of Evernow Publishing Ltd. International journalist with previous full-time editorial positions at Informa Plc, Thomson Reuters, McGraw-Hill and Dow Jones Inc. Have worked as a correspondent covering finance in New York, Amsterdam, Brussels and London, and covering healthcare and the life sciences in London.

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