Adrenomed closed a 24 million-euro round for D-series to fund the further development of its antibody-producing antibody that treats septic shock by preventing excessive fluid loss and keeping the walls of the blood vessels.
Wellington Partners and HBM Healthcare Investments, which specialize in investing in Life Sciences companies, joined existing shareholders to run the fundraising round.
Sepsis and septic shock can occur when the body has an extreme immune reaction to an infection. Adrenomedullin is a hormone released by the body in response to such reactions. It can help maintain blood vessel structure but also cause blood vessel growth, which can be problematic because one of the symptoms of septic shock is extremely low blood pressure.
Septic shock is a life-threatening condition that affects millions of people around the world, with a high mortality rate of about 30-50%. There is a very unsatisfied medical need to save vascular integrity in septic patients under intensive care " commented Andreas Bergmann, CSO of Adrenomed.
The adrenomed drug, the monoclonal antibody adrecizumab, is currently in Phase II testing. It helps to harness the beneficial effects of adrenomedullin, but prevents the widening of blood vessels. This helps restore normal blood pressure, also keeping the blood vessels in these patients.
To date, adrecizumab has shown promising results in preclinical studies using septic shock models. Reduce fluid leakage in the veins, restore normal circulation by increasing blood pressure, improve kidney function, and reduce the risk of death by 50%.
Berlin-based biotechnology completed two Phase I studies in 2017, which showed that the drug was well tolerated. Two doses of adrecizumab are currently being tested in a Phase II study in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The trial began at the end of 2017 and aims to recruit a total of 300 patients with early septic shock and high levels of adrenomedullin in the blood.
Company has revealed the mechanism of action of adrecizumab this summer. In extreme cases of inflammation, such as those seen in septic shock, fluid leakage from the blood vessels, since the normal barrier between the blood vessels and the rest of the body is faulty. Adrecizumab works by restoring this barrier function so that the blood vessels can work normally.
If it reaches the approval phase, Adrenomed therapy will be the first in its class. However, other companies are also trying to combat septic shock. E.g, French Biotechnology Inotrem has as objective the orientation of the excessive immune reaction observed in these patients by blocking the action of a protein that is involved in triggering inflammation.