A new operation for Ysios Capital. The Spanish investment manager, specialized in the biotechnology sector, has participated in the financing round of the French company SparingVision for $52.7 million (€44.5 million), led by 4BIO Capital and the Medical Center Enterprise of the University of Pittsburgh.
Jeito Capital, as well as the current investors Bpifrance and Foundation Fighting Blindness, have also participated in the round. This capital increase will allow the company to advance in the development of SPVN06, its innovative therapy for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.
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SparingVision’s therapeutic strategy is precisely that it is designed to prevent the degeneration of retinal cells regardless of genetic origin
In particular, the company will finance the manufacturing and regulatory activities required to enable it to begin its first human clinical trial, scheduled for 2021. The company will also expand equipment and begin operations in the United States, as confirmed by the company. SPVN06 is a gene therapy product that, using adeno-associated viruses (AAV) as a vector, is applicable to any type of retinitis pigmentosa regardless of genetic origin. It is composed of a neurotrophic factor and an enzyme that reduces oxidative stress. By acting synergistically, these compounds have the potential to slow down or stop the degeneration of light-catching cells of the retina, the main cause of blindness in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.
Ysisos Capital has participated in this round together with 4BIO Capital and the Medical Center Enterprise of the University of Pittsburgh, among others Retinitis pigmentosa is the most common retinal disease of hereditary origin, affecting two million patients worldwide, and is characterized by a gradual loss of vision caused by the progressive degeneration of the cells of the eye responsible for capturing light. This disease, caused by mutations in more than fifty different genes, presents difficulties for the development of conventional gene therapies and currently, there is no approved treatment.
The key to SparingVision’s therapeutic strategy is precisely that it is designed to prevent the degeneration of retinal cells regardless of genetic origin, thus having the potential to treat the entire population affected by this disease. Karen Wagner, managing partner of Ysios Capital, comments that “we are convinced that gene therapy has great potential for the treatment of chronic debilitating diseases beyond the correction of a particular gene mutation. Ysios Capital is a management company, with offices in San Sebastian and Barcelona, specialized in investments in life sciences companies that develop disruptive therapeutic products.
Founded in 2008, Ysios Capital manages close to $414.7 million (€350 million) through three specialized life science funds and is led by an international team with experience in managing biotechnology companies.
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