HepaRegeniX GmbH, a biotech company developing innovative treatments for liver diseases, completed a €9m Series A financing.
The round was led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund GmbH (BIVF) and Novo Seeds, and complemented by the High-Tech Gruenderfonds and coparion.
The company intends to use the funds for the ongoing medicinal chemistry discovery programs and preclinical development of drug candidates through IND filing. The first clinical study for the treatment of acute liver failure is planned for 2019.
Led by Dr. Wolfgang Albrecht, CEO, HepaRegeniX develops a new therapeutic concept for the treatment of liver diseases, discovered by Prof. Lars Zender and his research group at the University Hospital Tubingen, Germany.
In the healthy liver, hepatocytes have a near endless capacity to regenerate. However, in liver diseases, this regenerative capacity is locked and excessive hepatocyte death cannot be compensated, ultimately leading to loss of liver function and often death. The laboratory of Prof. Lars Zender identified Mitogen-Activated Protein (MAP) Kinase Kinase 4 (MKK4) as a key regulator of liver regeneration.
HepaRegeniX has acquired worldwide and exclusive rights of the related IP portfolio and, in collaboration with the Zender group and the medicinal chemistry group of the Eberhard-Karls University of Tubingen (Profs. Stefan Laufer and Antti Poso), has already identified the first small molecule inhibitors of MKK4.