SparingVision, a company specializing in genomic medicine for the treatment of retinal diseases, today announced that it has raised €75 million in a Series B funding round from a syndicate of international investors, led jointly by Jeito Capital (“Jeito”) (France) and UPMC Enterprises (United States), with the participation of 4BIO Capital (“4BIO”), Bpifrance, RD Fund, the venture capital fund of the Fighting Blindness Foundation (“ FFB”) and Ysios Capital (“Ysios”).
The funds raised will be allocated to funding phase 1 clinical studies of SPVN06 and SPVN20, the company’s two most advanced treatments. The funds will also be used to fund the development of drug candidates based on CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology, developed in partnership with Intellia Therapeutics, (NASDAQ: NTLA), the world’s leading clinical-stage genome editing company. SparingVision thus has the means to finance the development of its flagship products until the second half of 2025.
SPVN06’s disruptive therapeutic approach aims to stop or slow retinal cell degeneration in patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), and certain forms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), independently of their genetic profiles – unlike the majority of competing clinical development in the field of gene therapy, which takes a gene-by-gene approach. RP, the first indication targeted by SPVN06, is one of the most common inherited retinal diseases, affecting two million patients worldwide and leading to blindness. The company is currently proceeding with regulatory submissions for SPVN06, in order to start a first clinical trial before the end of the year. The initial results of product safety and good tolerance are expected in 2023; first efficacy data are expected in 2025.
In parallel, SparingVision is developing SPVN20, a second gene therapy candidate independent of genetic mutations, complementary to SPVN06, which aims to restore vision (visual acuity and color vision) in patients with advanced forms of RP. The company plans to start the clinical program of SPVN20 in 2024, and expects first safety and efficacy results in 2025.
Finally, the funds raised will make it possible to accelerate the development of SPVN50, a genome-editing drug candidate, developed within the framework of the partnership with Intellia Therapeutics in an undisclosed ocular indication. As a reminder, SparingVision and Intellia Therapeutics signed a strategic partnership agreement in October 2021. SPVN50 is currently in the preliminary phase of preclinical development (“early discovery”).
“Since our last fundraising, we have significantly strengthened our product portfolio, which now includes 6 candidate treatments based on cutting-edge technologies, already making SparingVision one of the world leaders in genomic medicine in the field of ophthalmology. With this new round of financing, we are beginning the clinical validation of our gene therapy treatments whose unique approach could make it possible to treat all patients with hereditary retinal diseases, but also certain forms of AMD” comments Stéphane Boissel, President and Managing Director of SparingVision.
He continues: “Our ambition does not stop there. We are going to continue the development of SparingVision around the 3 strategic axes that we have set ourselves: gene therapy, genomic editing and in-vivo cell reprogramming. I would like to thank our investors for their support, as well as all SparingVision associates for their dedication and hard work in serving patients. »
Sabine Dandiguian, Deputy CEO of Jeito Capital, commented: “SparingVision aims to become the world leader in genomic medicine in ophthalmology, and has built a solid pipeline over the past two years, including the most advanced products are now preparing to enter the clinical phase. Since our first investment, the company has made significant progress with its most advanced drug candidate, SPVN06; signed a strategic collaboration with Intellia Therapeutics, a leading genome editing company whose technology has already reached the clinical stage; and added another innovative gene therapy to its portfolio through the acquisition of GAMUT Therapeutics. Jeito finances innovative companies that have the potential to bring breakthrough treatments to patients: SparingVision fits perfectly with this ambition and we are delighted to have led this new financing round in partnership with UPMCE. »
Jeanne Cunicelli, President of University of Pittburgh Medical Center Enterprise (UPMCE), commented, “The SparingVision team has made very rapid progress over the past two years in building its pipeline of genomic drugs to address a strong medical need in the field of hereditary diseases of the retina. This fully aligns with UPMC Enterprises’ investment thesis to deliver innovative solutions to key challenges in the healthcare industry, and we are proud to continue to support SparingVision. »
Source and visual: SparingVision