New kid on the block Epirium Bio raises $85 million for an innovative platform which aims to combat muscular dystrophy and aging.
Biopharmaceutical company, Epirium Bio has raised $85 million in Series A financing, from a number of investors including Laura Deming’s longevity fund as well as Arch Venture Partners and Adams Street Partners, both of which are based in Chicago. The proceeds will help it advance the development of their innovative scientific platform .
Longevity.Technology: This is the first round of financing for Epirium in their current guise, although they did successfully raise $1.4 million in their previous incarnation as Cardero. They are not, then, quite completely new to this scene, but the scale of the investment reflects investor confidence in their platform.
Epirium’s scientists have discovered a hitherto unknown hormonal pathway which plays a role in the formation of new mitochondria and restores the structure and function of atrophic tissue, particularly those of the neuromuscular and central nervous systems.
Combining these pathways mimics the process that normally happens when we exercise and which is essential for building muscles and keeping organs healthy. Being able to modulate this response creates an opportunity to pursue a novel and differentiated pharmacological approach for the treatment of diseases that involve mitochondrial depletion.
So far, the company has carried out a number of proof of concept clinical studies in orphan diseases. They plan to advance their first subjects for clinical trials in Becker and Duchenne Muscular dystrophy and will follow this with targeted drug development for other muscular disorders.
“Epirium has discovered a novel class of therapeutics addressing not only the loss of muscle structure, but also the underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, which represents another major progression factor in diseases of muscle failure,” stated Professor Craig McDonald of the University of California at Davis. “I am pleased to be working with Epirium to advance the new concept of therapeutic mitochondrial biogenesis as a potential treatment for patients suffering from muscular dystrophy .”
As well as muscular dystrophy, the company also hopes the technology has potential in combating aging that shares a common mechanism with mitochondrial loss. The enormous potential of this technology is evident from the scale of this round of financing and the experience of investors involved.