Forendo Pharma, a clinical stage drug development company focusing on novel treatments in women’s health, today announces that it has raised an additional €4 million of funding from Vesalius Biocapital III Partners (Vesalius III). This is in addition to the €12 million Series A financing in 2014 and €5,7 million R&D loans granted by Business Finland since 2014. Vesalius III joins the existing international investor syndicate comprising Novo Seeds, Karolinska Development, Novartis Venture Fund, M Ventures and Innovestor. Stéphane Verdood, Managing Partner from Vesalius III, joins Forendo Pharma’s Board of Directors.
The financing will enable Forendo Pharma to accelerate the development of its innovative women’s health portfolio. The Company also announces today that its lead program FOR-6219, a HSD17B1 inhibitor for the treatment of endometriosis , has commenced a Phase Ia study focusing on safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics. The first women participating in the study have been dosed. FOR-6219 is a novel, oral, tissue-specific treatment for endometriosis, which is expected to have no impact on systemic hormone levels. Forendo Pharma’s second program, a dual HSD inhibitor for the treatment of broader gynecological conditions is currently in preclinical discovery.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects up to 10% of women in reproductive age and causes repeated pain symptoms, infertility and impaired quality of life. Currently available treatments for endometriosis have limitations in efficacy or cause harmful side effects, due to estrogen depletion.
Risto Lammintausta, CEO of Forendo Pharma, said: ” We are very pleased to welcome Vesalius III as a new shareholder and Stéphane to our Board of Directors. The investment from Vesalius III, which has a successful track record in backing women’s health companies, is strong endorsement of our growing women’s health portfolio and the compelling clinical treatment and business opportunities Forendo Pharma has to offer.”
Stéphane Verdood, Managing Partner from Vesalius III, added: ” Forendo Pharma is developing truly novel therapies that have the potential to transform the treatment of endometriosis, a disease that affects tens of millions of women across the globe. We look forward to joining the experienced management team and investor syndicate to help Forendo Pharma accelerate development of its women’s health pipeline.”
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