VarmX, a Leiden-based biotech company specializing in novel anticoagulation reversal methods, revealed on Thursday that it has successfully raised an additional €30M in a Series B2 funding round.
VarmX, a Dutch company established in 2016 as a spin-off of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), is dedicated to advancing therapies in the realm of hemostasis and thrombosis. Led by Prof. Pieter Reitsma, the company’s primary objective is to develop and produce therapeutic proteins that can effectively restore hemostasis.
At the forefront of their development efforts is their flagship compound VMX-C001, meticulously designed to ensure both safety and efficacy in restoring hemostasis for patients utilizing oral factor Xa inhibitors, such as edoxaban, rivaroxaban, and apixaban, during instances of bleeding or emergency surgeries.
Investors Backing VarmX’s Mission with Strong Support
Sound Bioventures, a venture fund with a focus on biotherapeutics, spearheaded the investment round, with the esteemed addition of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund as a new investor. Joining the initiative were EQT Life Sciences (formerly LSP), Inkef, Lundbeckfonden BioCapital, Ysios Capital, BioGeneration Ventures (BGV), InnovationQuarter (IQ), and Libertatis Ergo Holding (LEH), all of whom are existing investors and contributed to the funding as well.
VarmX’s Key Compound ‘VMX-C001’ Takes Center Stage
VarmX states that its recombinant human blood clotting factor X, VMX-C001, facilitates proper blood clotting in the presence of factor Xa blood clotting inhibitors.
The primary objective of VMX-C001’s development is to offer a convenient and reliable solution for individuals undergoing treatment with Direct Oral Anticoagulant Blood Thinners (DOACs) to effectively manage severe spontaneous bleeds, ensuring swift, safe, and efficient treatment.
Additionally, it aspires to enable individuals taking this particular class of blood thinners to undergo emergency surgeries without the associated bleeding risks posed by FXa DOACs.
VarmX asserts that their compound demonstrates considerable potential across multiple indications, offering a robust and unique profile characterized by attributes such as universal and single-dose reversal, user-friendliness, and safety, which make it suitable for emergency care applications.
Preliminary findings of the compound will be unveiled by the company during the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis meeting, scheduled for June 24-28, 2023, in Montreal. The complete study findings are slated for release later this year.
VarmX has outlined its plan to utilize the funds for crucial objectives, including obtaining Investigational New Drug (IND) approval for its lead compound, VMX-C001, as well as finalizing preparations for the pivotal clinical trial and scaling up manufacturing operations.
The company has already successfully enrolled participants for the first-in-human (FIH) study of VMX-C001, which was designed to demonstrate the compound’s safety and clinical proof of concept.
Dr. Jan Öhrström, CEO of VarmX, emphasizes the growing challenge of factor Xa-DOAC induced bleeding due to the increasing use of anticoagulants, including the anticipated rise in generics availability. He highlights the limited availability of effective and safe treatments to prevent spontaneous bleeding, particularly during surgical procedures. The secured funding will play a vital role in advancing the development of the VMX-C001 program, bringing it closer to providing much-needed assistance to patients.