Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Lousiville, Ky.-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a platform of novel therapeutic compounds for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, closed a $60m Series E financing.
The round was led by Sectoral Asset Management with participation from new investors Sofinnova, Vivo Capital, F-Prime Capital Partners, certain investment funds advised by Clough Capital Partners L.P., and venBio Select as well as existing investors Morningside Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, venBio Global Strategic Fund, and Epidarex Capital. As part of this financing, Maha Katabi, PhD, CFA, Partner, Private Equity at Sectoral Asset Management will join Apellis’ Board of Directors.
Led by Cedric Francois, MD, PhD, founder and Chief Executive Officer, Apellis Pharmaceuticals focuses on the development of a platform of novel therapeutic compounds for the treatment of a broad range of autoimmune diseases based upon complement immunotherapy. It advances chronic therapy with a C3 inhibitor into clinical trials and is currently evaluating its lead product candidate in Phase 1b clinical trials in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, and in a Phase 2 clinical trial in geographic atrophy, an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration.
The proceeds of the financing will be used to initiate Phase 3 trials with APL-2 (a synthetic cyclic peptide conjugated to a polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymer that binds specifically to C3 and C3b, effectively blocking all three pathways of complement activation (classical, lectin, and alternative) in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare, chronic, life-threatening blood disorder, and advance development in other indications.