Omeicos secures 17 million euros
Berlin-based Omeicos Therapeutics GmbH receives 17 million euros to advance the clinical testing of its substance for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia.
The Series C financing round was led by Forbion, other investors are VC-Fonds Technologie Berlin and High-Tech Gründerfonds. The BMBF supported Omeicos within the framework of the Spinnovator programme.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia. Normally, atrial fibrillation is treated with so-called anti-arrhythmic drugs, which are designed to bring the heart back into sinus rhythm. However, these therapies do not address the cause of the disease and are usually associated with side effects. The drug candidate of Omeicos (OMT-28) is based on artificial omega-3 fatty acids and is supposed to stabilize the heart rhythm. This approach to treating cardiac arrhythmias is new: in addition to restoring normal sinus rhythm, it promises a healing effect on the individual structural damage to the heart. The drug would especially help chronically sick patients who would otherwise have to take drugs with severe side effects over a long period of time.
The company intends to use the 17 million euro financial support to advance further clinical development. For the German-Dutch VC company Forbion, this is the second investment of the recently closed fund IV. Holger Reithinger, partner at Forbion, comments: "We have been observing Omeicos for quite some time and are very optimistic about the progress made. The novel approach and the excellent security profile have convinced us to invest".
The previous investors Vesalius Biocapital II S.A. SICAR, Remiges BioPharma Fund, SMS Group GmbH, KFW Group, VC Fonds Technologie Berlin, High-Tech Gründerfonds II GmbH & Co. KG and The Falck Revocable Trust also participated. Since its foundation in 2013 from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), Omeicos has been able to raise more than 33 million euros. The BMBF supported Omeicos with several million euros as part of the Spinnovator programme. At the Berlin-Brandenburg Innovation Prize, Omeicos is currently one of ten nominees selected from a field of 174 candidates. The award ceremony will take place on 30 November.
The new capital is now to flow primarily into the phase II trial of OMT-28. Only a few weeks earlier, Omeico had presented positive Phase I data for the cardioprotective drug. The following placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized Phase II study, which will be called PROMISE-AF, is supposed to demonstrate the efficacy of the compound. The study is aimed at patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia. With the study, the Berlin-based company also aims to set new clinical standards. For the first time, for example, a recorder will be used, which is implanted into the patient and allows continuous control of cardiac arrhythmias. The company cooperates with the Berlin-based medical technology company Biotronik. "In the past, patients were only admitted to the study centre for check-ups on a specific day. With the implant, we can monitor the efficacy and safety of our drug much better over a longer period of time," says Alexander Gebauer, responsible for clinical development at Omeicos, and emphasizes: "We have the full support of the authorities for this innovation.” First study results are expected in 2020.
The fresh capital will also be used to expand the pipeline in new indications, including eye diseases. The subsidiary in Boston (USA), which has existed since 2017, will be in charge of developments in the field of ophthalmology.