• Series A supports company launch to advance disease therapies
    John Montana

Company News

Series A supports company launch to advance disease therapies

Feb 17 2024

With a shared focus on developing disease modulating treatments, Oxitope Pharma (Oxitope) and Arxx Therapeutics (Arxx) have merged to form a new clinical stage company, Calluna Pharma Inc., following EUR 75 million Series A funding to develop therapies for inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.

Announced on January 23, Calluna Pharma draws on the combined expertise in the field of innate immunity, based on damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), with a pipeline of selective antibodies targeting inflammatory and fibrotic indications, to develop therapies that harness the transformative potential of the body's immune system.

This approach involves the targeting of upstream innate immune amplifiers to enable disruption of disease-associated downstream signalling pathways while maintaining a favourable safety profile.

Selective antibodies, targeting immunological diseases, including candidates for unmet clinical needs, that are driven by acute or chronic inflammation and non-resolving tissue fibrosis are already available.

John Montana, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Calluna Pharma, said: “In joining forces, these two key players in the innate immunology space have created an exciting new clinical company that has four promising therapies in its pipeline with excellent preclinical proof-of-concept data. By innovating beyond traditional treatment strategies, Calluna offers clinical candidates with superior efficacy, improved patient tolerance and minimal adverse side effects which have real potential to redefine patient outcomes.”

The series A funding was led by Forbion, with participation from Norwegian investors Sarsia, p53 and Investinor. Antoine Boulanger, PhD, Principal at Forbion, added: “The merger of Oxitope Pharma and Arxx Therapeutics to create Calluna Pharma is a prime example of Forbion Ventures Fund’s strategy where we both build new and enable existing companies. As a result, we recognised the strength of combining these two companies’ pioneering approaches to disrupt the treatment of inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, the complementarity of management skills and the resulting robust clinical pipeline. We look forward to continuing our support of potentially life changing clinical assets moving into the next phases of clinical development.”

Sveinung Hole, MBA, Managing Partner at Sarsia (ex-Chair at Arxx Therapeutics) and Susanne Stuffers MD, PhD, Managing Partner at p53, commented: “Sarsia and p53 strive to bring cutting edge ideas and therapies from early-phase to clinical development and beyond to benefit patients and transform people’s lives. Calluna Pharma epitomises this and we are enthusiastic to join forces with Forbion and to contribute to the success of this new entity.”

More information online.

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