Israeli biopharmaceutical cystic fibrosis treatment developer Splisense today announced that it has closed a $28.5 million Series B financing round with investments from Orbimed, Israel Biotech Fund, Biotel Limited, Integra Holdings and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The Jerusalem-based company is developing mRNA-altering therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF) and other genetic pulmonary diseases. SpliSense' technology is based on the research of Hebrew University geneticist Prof. Batsheva Kerem, who was part of the research team that identified and cloned the CFTR gene. The technology was licensed from Yissum Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The latest financing round will be used to advance the company's pipeline, including SPL84-23, its lead Anti Sense Oligonucleotide (ASO) product. SPL84-23, designed to treat the 3849+10kb C->T CFTR mutation, has demonstrated that it is able to completely restore Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance Regulator (CFTR) channel function in patient-derived cell cultures. The company plans to initiate a Phase 1/2a trial in 2022.
SpliSense CEO Dr. Gili Hart said, "This successful funding round is a vote of confidence of in our platform technology and early-stage therapeutic pipeline. CF is a debilitating disease, leading to frequent lung infections, breathing difficulties and reduced life expectancy. Currently available treatments focus on treating the symptoms of the disease, such as channel function and protein modulators, antibiotics to treat lung infections, or mucus thinning drugs. However, they do not treat the root cause of the disease. Our technology addresses the underlying genetic cause, thereby offering, for the first time, hope of restoring adequate lung function to CF patients. We look forward to using this funding and the support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to advance our pipeline for the benefit of CF patients."
Splisense chairman Dr. Nissim Darvish said, "SpliSense couples Prof. Kerem's pioneering research on the genetic underpinnings of CF together with a strong track record in developing ASO therapies and inhaled treatments. We have great faith in SpliSense's transformative technology for the genetic treatment of CF and await with interest the advancement of its pipeline into the clinic, as well as its expansion to additional indications."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 13, 2021
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