Princeton, NJ, October 11, 2023 ─ iQure Pharma Inc. (iQure), a CNS company dedicated to the development of new epilepsy and pain management therapeutics, has completed the first closing of its latest round of funding.
The company has raised $1.2M to progress with IND-enabling pivotal tox studies for its lead asset iQ-007, a first in class EAAT2 PAM neuromodulator. iQ-007 is a novel therapeutic candidate to treat epilepsy and other neurodegenerative conditions.
The round was led by Munich-based life science fund Ventura BioMed Investors and anchor early-stage med-tech investor OKG Capital. Both investors see this round as a first step towards further funding to complete preclinical development and start Phase 1 trials.
iQure's leading compound, iQ-007, is a neuromodulator targeting toxic levels of glutamate in the synaptic cleft. An elevated level of glutamate leads to neurotoxicity and ultimately to neural degeneration. iQ-007 operates by a Positive Allosteric Modulation of Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 2 (EAAT2 PAM), which is responsible for up to 90% of glutamate uptake. A decrease in EAAT2 function is observed in epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, neuropathic pain and ALS. Preclinical in vivo efficacy and safety data strongly support the potential value of this compound for patients suffering from epilepsy, including those who have seen limited success with seizure control using existing medications. iQ-007 has successfully completed the prestigious NIH ETSP epilepsy screening program and pivotal tox studies are ongoing. The Company is looking to start clinical development of iQ-007 in 2024.
Pawel Zolnierczyk, iQure CEO: “Addressing neurodegeneration and preventing seizures in an effective and safe manner is a critical medical and social need. Epilepsy alone affects over 50M people worldwide and approximately 30% of them struggle to control their seizures using current medication. Many also suffer from reduced quality of life due to medication side effects. In addition, aging populations are contributing to a surge in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, with over 55M people currently suffering from dementia and 10M new cases identified every year. Securing funding from life science focused investors Ventura BioMed Investors and OKG Capital is a major milestone and will accelerate our clinical development. We also want to thank leading global CNS researcher Prof Krzysztof Kaminski and Jagiellonian University in Poland, who are instrumental in the ongoing development of iQ-007, for their close and successful collaboration. We are looking forward to bringing iQ-007 to clinical development in 2024.”
About iQure Pharma
iQure Pharma, a global biotech firm headquartered in the US, is focused on the development of new therapeutics for CNS, including neuropathic pain, epilepsy and other neurodegenerative diseases. iQure researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical professionals work closely with academic partners, industry experts, and patient organizations to build medically and socially beneficial therapies.
About Ventura BioMed Investors
Ventura BioMed Investors invest in early-stage life science companies developing pioneering technologies and innovative therapies. As serial entrepreneurs with many years of experience, we help shape the long- term development of our portfolio companies and provide them access to our broad investor and business network. Ventura BioMed Investors supports exceptional entrepreneurs with their vision to accelerate medical breakthroughs that solve unmet patient needs.
About OKG Capital
OKG Capital is a specialist med-tech and life science investor based in the US with operations in London and Geneva. OKG invests in the management and diagnosis of serious chronic diseases affecting individuals and burdening healthcare systems. OKG aims to bridge the gap between cutting edge science and clinical practice, operating at the intersection between patient need and long-term financial return.