Laurantis Pharma today announced successful completion of a funding round, which raised EUR 5.64 million (US$7.02 million). A significant amount of the financing was secured from Broadview Ventures, Inc., which served as a catalyst for raising funds from Inveni Capital, Aloitusrahasto Vera, Helsinki University Funds, and Veritas.
The Broadview funding will support the first human trial for Lymfactin, which has potential to become the first treatment for breast cancer-associated lymphedema. Lymfactin uses an adenoviral vector to deliver vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-C) during transplantation of lymph nodes in order to avoid lymphedema.
"Breast cancer-associated lymphedema is a debillitating vascular condition for women -- one with very limited treatment options," said Christopher H. Colecchi, Managing Director, Broadview Ventures. "Broadview is very pleased to support Laurantis' ground-breaking development work in this important therapeutic area."
"The funds from Broadview served as a reminder to other funders of the incredibly important work conducted by the Laurantis research team, not only in lymphedema but also in Atopic Dermatitis, Dry Eye, Interstitial Cystitis, and Bladder Cancer," said Riku Rautsola, CEO, Laurantis.
Broadview Ventures was started by the Leducq Family trust, to expedite the development of breakthrough treatments in cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases.
Breast cancer-associated lymphedema is the most common form of secondary lymphedema, occurring in approximately 20% of breast cancer patients who undergo axillary lymph node dissection. The incidence is even higher in those who also receive radiotherapy, and this complication may even occur in those who undergo a lymph node biopsy as part of treatment.
In the U.S., approximately 110,000 patients are living with breast cancer-associated lymphedema, and nearly 15,000 new patients develop the complication each year. The number of lymphedema patients in Europe is estimated to be roughly the same as in the U.S.
"The science behind this treatment is long known to us at Broadview. Laurantis' scientific and management teams are very strong and we are pleased to be supporting them and the biotech landscape in Europe," said Mr. Colecchi.
Management from Broadview Ventures will play an observer role on the Board of Directors of Laurantis, and will play an active role in supporting the company's efforts.
"With Broadview, we found more than an investor, we found a partner," said Mr. Rautsola.