Vtesse, Inc., a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based rare disease company focused on developing drugs for Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC) and other severe diseases, raised $25m in Series A funding.
The round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from Pfizer Venture Investments, Lundbeckfond Ventures, Bay City Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments.
The company intends to use the funds to conduct a clinical program for VTS-270 (a formulation of (2-hydroxypropyl)-beta-cyclodextrin) for NPC, and to discover and pre-clinically evaluate additional novel drugs for NPC and other LSDs.
Led by Ben Machielse, Drs., President and Chief Executive Officer, Vtesse is a rare disease company dedicated to developing drugs for patients suffering from diseases that are underserved. A spin-out company from Cydan Development, Inc., an orphan-drug accelerator that identifies and de-risks programs with therapeutic and commercial potential, Vtesse is working collaboratively with the NIH to advance clinical study of VTS-270 for NPC, and to conduct pre-clinical discovery and development of other novel drugs for NPC and other LSDs.
The company has also established a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), each a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Vtesse and NCATS have also entered into a licensing agreement for the current rights held by NIH for the worldwide use of cyclodextrin, delta-tocopherol, and derivatives of tocopherol, alone or in combination, for the treatment of lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs), including NPC. Regulatory orphan designations for the U.S. and EU will also be transferred to Vtesse.