Calluna Pharma Raises €75M in Series A Financing

Calluna Pharma

Calluna Pharma, an Oslo, Norway-based clinical stage company formed from the merger of Oxitope Pharma and Arxx Therapeutics, raised €75M in Series A funding.

The round was led by Forbion, with participation from Norwegian investors Sarsia, p53, and Investinor.

The company intends to use the funds to expand operations, and develop its pipeline to multiple key clinical steps over the next 2.5 years.

Led by John Montana, PhD., CEO, Calluna is developing therapies that harness the potential of the body’s immune system. The new company will combine expertise in the field of innate immunity, based on damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), with a pipeline of selective antibodies that target inflammatory and fibrotic indications, including several first-in-class clinical candidates.

Calluna has four promising therapies in its pipeline. Its clinical stage lead program, CAL101, is a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes the bioactivity of S100A4, a DAMP protein implicated in serious and life-threatening diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and severe (steroid insensitive) asthma. Of particular interest is another of its programs, CAL102, a monoclonal antibody neutralizing oxidized phospholipids – these play a significant role in onset and progression of a wide range of acute and chronic inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. CAL102 demonstrated efficacy in several preclinical disease models.

Commenting on the news, John Montana said: “In joining forces, these two key players in the innate immunology space have created an exciting new clinical company that has four promising therapies in its pipeline with excellent preclinical proof-of-concept data. By innovating beyond traditional treatment strategies, Calluna offers clinical candidates with superior efficacy, improved patient tolerance, and minimal adverse side effects which have real potential to redefine patient outcomes.”

The company’s board of directors will include John Montana, Operating Partner (Forbion), as Chief Executive Officer, Antoine Boulanger, Principal (Forbion), Susanne Stuffers (p53), Farzad Abdi-Dezfuli General Partner (Sarsia), and Marco Boorsma, General Partner (Forbion) as Chairman.