SAN FRANCISCO -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Gemmus Pharma Inc. a privately held biotechnology company developing an improved host-targeted treatment for flu, today announced that it has closed on a Series B funding. The funding will be used to complete production and toxicology studies for an IND filing by the end of the year.
The round was funded by a syndicate of angel groups led by the Life Science Angels (LSA) with other members of the syndicate including: BlueTree Allied Angels, The Angels’ Forum, Tech Coast Angels and Wilmington Investor Network, as well as several individual investors.
"Gemmus is very pleased to have the support of these experienced angel investors,” said Daryl Faulds, PhD, CEO. “We are developing a unique flu treatment that activates the immune system of the host and thus can be effective to combat multiple different strains of the virus. It is a ‘best-in-class, first-in-class’ oral treatment and this Series B funding will accelerate the filing of our initial IND.”
Data on Gemmus’ lead candidate, GP1681, will be presented in two posters at the 27th International Conference on Antiviral Research (ICAR) in Raleigh, NC on May 14-15. The poster titled: “Efficacy of the Beraprost Isomer GP1681 for Treating Influenza A Virus Infections in Mice” will be given by Prof. Dale Barnard, Ph.D., of Utah State University. A second poster titled: “Mode of Action of GP1681 as a Therapeutic for Influenza Infections,” will be given by Daryl Faulds, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gemmus.
The company’s candidate, GP1681, is an orally available eicosanoid being developed for the treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of influenza infection. Results of the trials demonstrate that influenza-infected mice which are treated with GP1681 are protected against death compared to placebo-treated mice. Uniquely, findings show that the increased survival is not the result of decreased viral titers but is due to a decrease in respiratory tract inflammation as demonstrated by a decrease in lung weight, lung score and pro-inflammatory cytokines in influenza-infected lungs.
“Gemmus management has a track record of success in drug development, especially in the area of anti-inflammatory products for high-value indications,” said William Holstein, SVP Business Development. “We are very pleased to have closed our Series B with financing from seasoned investors, especially in a difficult market.”
There are no prescription medications approved for the treatment of influenza subtypes other than neuraminidase inhibitors and amantadines, the latter which have recognized drug resistance issues. GP1681 represents a new and potentially groundbreaking approach to improved influenza therapies that focus on managing the immune system to reduce the symptoms of the infection. By reducing, but not eliminating, the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the lung, GP1681 and related compounds under development are “strain-agnostic” – they can treat infections even from influenza that has become drug resistant. This new approach to treating the flu allows for a faster return to normal activities than is possible with no treatment or with administration of antiviral therapies.
Gemmus is a privately held biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative pharmaceutical products for the treatment of infectious diseases by modulating the host response to the disease. Gemmus was founded in 2007 to develop EP2 and EP4 agonists for the treatment for the treatment of influenza and in-licensed technology from a major pharmaceutical company. The company has applied for and received an SBIR(NIH) and a QTDP competitive grant. Gemmus has its corporate office and labs in San Francisco, California. Gemmus is a member of the QB3 network, a San Francisco Bay Area Biotech incubator associated with UCSF Mission Bay campus. For more information and corporate background, please visit: www.gemmuspharma.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts may be forward looking statements. The inclusion of forward looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Gemmus that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Gemmus' business including, without limitation, statements about difficulties or delays in developing, obtaining regulatory approval, manufacturing and commercializing its products, unexpected performance or side effects of its products, the scope and validity of its products’ patent protection, competition from other companies and its ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations. All forward looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this statement and Gemmus undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date hereof.