NodThera Secures $55 Million to Develop NLRP3 Inflammasome Inhibitors
U.K.-based NodThera is building up its war chest to develop therapies for diseases driven by chronic inflammation. This morning, the company announced it secured $55 million in Series B financing to advance its NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors through the clinic.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance its lead candidate NT-0167 through clinical studies. NT-0167 is currently being assessed in a Phase I study for safety and as well as pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic response. In preclinical studies, NT-0167 demonstrated potent and selective inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome resulting in reductions of IL-1β and IL-18, pro-inflammatory cytokines which are known to play a key role in chronic inflammation underlying a wide range of diseases, the company said.
The funds from the Series B will also be used to drive the development of additional compounds, including brain-penetrant NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors for central nervous system indications, as well as continued drug discovery efforts, NodThera said. Inflammasomes are multiprotein oligomers that are responsible for the activation of inflammatory responses. Activation of an inflammasome assembly leads to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1 and IL-18. Inappropriately activated inflammasomes are implicated in a number of diseases, including arthritis, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and certain cancer.
Adam Keeney, president and chief executive officer of NodThera, said clinical advancement of NT-0167 represents a significant achievement in the company’s work to “exploit the still untapped therapeutic potential of selectively targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome.” The financial round follows a $40 million Series A in 2018.
Selective inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome holds greater therapeutics potential rather than downstream cytokines, the company said. One reason in particular is safety. Selective NLRP3 inhibitors leave the rest of the innate immune response intact to respond to infection. NLRP3 inhibitors can be made to target different tissues and organs, which provides a broad disease application, according to the company.
“This financing from a world-class syndicate of life science investors speaks to the significant potential of our pipeline,” Keeney said in a statement.
The Series B financing round was led by Novo Ventures and was supported by previous investors 5AM Ventures, F-Prime Capital, Sofinnova Partners and founding investor Epidarex Capital. New investors Cowen Healthcare Investments and Sanofi Ventures also joined in the round. Joining the NodThera Board as part of this Series B financing will be Nanna Lüneborg, Partner at Novo Ventures, Kevin Raidy, Managing Partner at Cowen Healthcare Investments and Alex Pasteur, Partner at F-Prime Capital.
“The NLRP3 inflammasome is one of the most exciting emerging areas of drug discovery. Therapeutics that disrupt the NLRP3 inflammasome to inhibit damaging inflammatory processes have the potential to help patients with many chronic diseases,” Henrijette Richter, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners said in a statement.