Pneumagen Raises £3.8 million to Advance the Phase II Clinical Development of Neumifil, a Pan-antiviral, Intranasal Drug for the Prophylaxis and Treatment of Viral Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs)
St Andrews, UK – 19th January 2022 – Pneumagen, a clinical stage biotech company developing Neumifil, a pan-antiviral, intranasal drug for the prophylaxis and treatment of viral respiratory tract infections (RTIs), today announced it has raised a further £3.8m to advance clinical development and manufacturing of its lead product Neumifil.
Neumifil is being developed to offer pan-antiviral protection against respiratory viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2 with a self-administered intranasal product. Currently, Neumifil is being assessed in a Phase I study with top line results anticipated in the first half of 2022.
The latest funding round brings total capital secured to date by Pneumagen to circa £14m and will enable the Company to:
- Advance further development of Neumifil into Phase II. An influenza controlled human challenge study will be conducted by hVIVO, a subsidiary of Open Orphan plc, a world leader in the testing of antivirals using human challenge study models. The study will be conducted in the United Kingdom and is planned to commence in the second half of 2022
- Conduct further GMP manufacturing by FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, a leading contract development and manufacturing organisation and one of the world’s most renowned, high quality manufacturing companies
- Conclude extended GLP toxicology studies to support the Phase II programme
The financing round was co-led by existing investors, Thairm Bio and Scottish Enterprise.
Neumifil is a unique multivalent carbohydrate binding molecule (mCBM) generated using Pneumagen’s proprietary GlycoTarge™ technology platform that acts by binding to epithelial cell surface sialic acid receptors in the respiratory tract, thereby stopping viruses at the site of infection, reducing their ability to both enter cells in the respiratory tract and migrate to the lungs. Neumifil has shown potent anti-viral activity against a broad range of infections caused by influenza viruses, RSV and SARS-CoV-2 in pre-clinical studies, and its differentiated mechanism of action means it is less susceptible to direct viral resistance.
Douglas Thomson, CEO of Pneumagen, commented, “This further funding ensures that we can continue the rapid clinical development progress of Neumifil. Our agreements with hVIVO and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies are significant operational advances as we execute our Phase II clinical programme in 2022.”
“Neumifil has the potential to significantly improve the lives of patients suffering from viral respiratory tract infections. As a pan-antiviral, easy to use, self-administered novel treatment option, Neumifil has the potential to have a significant impact on decreasing the risk of hospitalisation and death, through the prevention and treatment of multiple respiratory viral infections, for patients who suffer from viral exacerbations of underlying chronic lung disease.”
Thairm Bio’s Mark Bamforth said, “We are pleased to provide this financing to Pneumagen, which reflects the great confidence we have in the Company’s business strategy and execution, the highly committed management team and the significant potential of Neumifil to become a key treatment option for patients with a broad range of viral RTIs.”
Kerry Sharp, Director of Growth Investments at Scottish Enterprise, said, “Having been impressed by Pneumagen’s development following our initial investment in 2016, Scottish Enterprise is underlining our support for the Company and cementing our partnership with Thairm Bio through further co-investment. Helping Pneumagen scale up its clinical development and manufacturing capabilities can unlock the potential of its lead product, Neumifil.”
Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, said, “We are delighted to partner with Pneumagen for this important study to test its highly promising pan-antiviral product Neumifil, using hVIVO’s Influenza human challenge study model. Neumifil has the potential to be an important prophylactic and treatment against a range of viral respiratory tract infections and we look forward to working alongside Pneumagen as we bring to bear our world-leading experience in conducting these types of trials.”
Paul Found, Chief Operating Officer, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies UK, said, “FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is delighted to support the clinical advancement of Pneumagen’s Neumifil candidate for the prevention and treatment of RTIs. Our deep expertise and capabilities in the development and optimisation of microbial-based processes will enable us to support Pneumagen as they scale-up for mid-to-late stage clinical trials.”
For further information, please contact:
Douglas Thomson, CEO
MEDiSTRAVA Consulting (Financial PR)
Frazer Hall, David Dible, Sandi Greenwood
Pneumagen is a clinical- stage biotech company developing Neumifil, its lead product, as an intranasal drug for the prophylaxis and treatment of a broad range of viral respiratory tract infections (RTIs).
Neumifil is a novel, engineered multivalent Carbohydrate Binding Molecule (mCBM), which is being developed for the universal treatment of Influenza Virus (IFV), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and coronavirus infections including COVID-19. Neumifil acts by directly binding and preventing the entry of the viral pathogens into the lungs with reduced susceptibility to direct viral resistance. Neumifil was generated using Pneumagen’s proprietary GlycoTarge™ technology that acts by stopping viruses at the site of infection, reducing their ability both to enter cells and to migrate to the lungs. In addition to Neumifil, Pneumagen is harnessing its GlycoTarge™platform to enable the development of a pipeline of intranasal therapies targeting other infectious lung diseases.
Pneumagen was established in 2016 as a spin-out from the University of St Andrews in Scotland giving Pneumagen access to world-class scientific expertise and capabilities in viral RTI’s specifically related to glycobiology.
About Thairm Bio
Thairm Bio is a Trust that invests in early-stage life science companies that show promise in developing breakthrough treatments for diseases with the potential to make a major improvement to patients’ lives.
About Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s national economic development agency. It is committed to growing the Scottish economy for the benefit of all, helping create more quality jobs and a brighter future for every region.
About Open Orphan plc
Open Orphan plc (London and Euronext: ORPH) is a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation that is a world leader in testing vaccines and antivirals using human challenge clinical trials. The Company and its subsidiaries (hVIVO and Venn Life Sciences) provide services to Big Pharma, biotech and government/public health organisations.
About FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is a global industry-leading Biologics Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) with vast experience in the development and manufacturing of recombinant proteins, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, viral products and medical countermeasures.