Enterprise Therapeutics Ltd, a startup drug discovery company founded in May, 2014 with a central research and development focus on new respiratory disease therapeutics, has announced that it has secured $2.4 million in initial Series-A financing from healthcare oriented venture capital firm Epidarex Capital.
Epidarex provides equity capital to early-stage, high growth, life science and health technology companies in the UK and US, including university spin-outs — funding commercialization of ground-breaking research and new technologies to address large and unmet healthcare market needs.
The company’s management team has a track record of successfully partnering with scientists and entrepreneurs in the development of innovative products and services for offer on the global healthcare market, leveraging its extensive relationships, industry operating experience and disciplined investment approach to add significant value to its portfolio companies in order to generate strong returns on investment for its limited partners.
Epidarex’s corporate philosophy is to work closely with management of its portfolio companies toward more effectively translating their research into world class, commercially driven enterprises, leveraging a global network of investment professionals, scientists, industry executives, health practitioners, policy experts, regulatory advisors and business development leaders, as well as leading Japanese, Korean, European and US corporations and financial institutions, with a particular emphasis on the importance of international business development, providing important bridges to key markets, thereby further supporting the international growth of enterprises Epidarex invests in. This depth of associated expertise contributes substantially to Epidarex’s portfolio companies’ growth and development.
Epidarex Capital likes to partner with leading universities and research institutions to strengthen the funding ecosystem for the most talented entrepreneurs, and its investment in Enterprise Therapeutics Ltd. will fund, in parallel, low molecular weight drug discovery and new target identification programs. Enterprise Therapeutics enjoys a close working relationship with the School of Life Sciences of the University of Sussex at Sussex U.K., and its CSO, Martin Gosling, PhD, is currently a U. Of Sussex Professor of Molecular Pharmacology, and the company will be based at the university.
Respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and severe asthma, in which the lungs become congested with mucus leading to difficulty in breathing, are a class of disorders that represent both a major unmet medical need and a significant health care burden in both the developed and developing world. The current standard of care relies mainly on medications to treat the symptoms of these debilitating diseases by dilating airways and/or inhibiting inflammation.
Enterprise Therapeutics is dedicated to research, discovery, and development of novel therapies for treating serious respiratory disorders with new disease-modifying therapies that target underlying mucus congestion mechanisms to reduce frequency of lung infections and improve patient quality of life, focusing on discovery of novel disease modifying medications that will target key drivers of disease pathology and progression.
Enterprise’s lead emphasis will be on Cystic Fibrosis (CF), which it notes is the most common lethal genetic disease of Caucasians, with an estimated 100,000 patients worldwide. CF patients’ average life expectancy, although improving, is approximately 40 years.
COPD is a chronic disease characterized by progressive and irreversible decrease in lung function, reported to affect over 300 million people globally, and which in 2012 was the worlds third highest cause of mortality. The estimated economic cost of COPD is >$2 trillion.
Patients with severe asthma are either refractory or poorly managed by current therapies (i.e.:bronchodilators, steroids). Severe asthma is estimated to account for approximately five percent of roughly 300 million global asthma patients.
Enterprise Therapeutics CSO Dr. Gosling has spent his research career defining the role of ion channels in health and disease and exploiting their therapeutic potential. As a key member of the Novartis Respiratory Disease Area, he established an internal ion channel platform and took a lead role in defining the Novartis cystic fibrosis (CF) portfolio. He comments: “We are delighted that Epidarex Capital has recognized the potential of Enterprise Therapeutics drug discovery approach and capabilities. We look forward to working together to discover and develop first in class therapies with the potential to impact the millions of patients with respiratory diseases.”
Liz Roper, one of the Epidarex Capital partners, observes: “Epidarex is excited to have led Enterprise Therapeutics initial financing, an investment aligned with our strategy of facilitating the growth and development of high potential, early stage life science companies in the UK and the US. We believe that the significant drug discovery experience and expertise of the company’s founders combined with the novel approach Enterprise is pursuing should deliver differentiated and badly needed therapies.”