Acesion Pharma announces that it has successfully closed an oversubscribed €45M Series B financing round. The equity financing was co-led by new US-based investors Canaan and Alpha Wave and with participation by the Global BioAccess Fund, as well as existing investor Novo Holdings.
The financing will be used to advance the clinical development of AP31969, an SK ion channel inhibitor optimised for chronic oral treatment of AF. Earlier this year, Acesion demonstrated clinical proof-of-concept with AP30663, its first-in-class SK ion channel inhibitor for conversion of AF to normal sinus rhythm.
AP31969 will be developed for chronic oral maintenance treatment to prevent AF recurrence. Following the successful Series B financing, Acesion is well capitalised to progress AP31969 into a phase 1 and completion of a phase 2 trial.
AF is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia and is forecast to affect 25 million people in the US and EU by 2030. Existing drug therapies for AF are associated with the risk of serious cardiac or other adverse effects, resulting in a great need for safer drugs. Yet, there has been a lack of innovation and development with no new chronic AF drug approved for nearly 20 years. With AP31969, Acesion is aiming to develop a safer alternative.
In connection with the closing of the financing, the composition of the Acesion board of directors will change to include Tim Shannon, General Partner at Canaan, and Nik Economopoulos, Analyst from Alpha Wave. Jørgen Søberg Petersen, Partner at Novo Holdings, will remain Chairman.
Anders Gaarsdal Holst, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Acesion, said, “The high levels of investor interest and demand that we saw during this financing speak to the strong data we have generated, both on the novel mechanism of SK channel inhibition in general and the AP31969 compound specifically. This is a powerful endorsement for our team and the quality of our science. With the financing in hand, we are focused on progressing AP31969 into a phase 1 clinical trial later this year.”
Tim Shannon, MD, General Partner in Canaan, said, “Acesion is redefining treatment for patients suffering from atrial fibrillation. The impressive preclinical data from AP31969 shows great promise and we are delighted to support Acesion in taking AP31969 through to Phase 2 completion.”
Jørgen Søberg Petersen, MD, PhD, MBA, Partner in Novo Holdings, said, ” As the founding and largest shareholder, Novo Holdings remains committed in helping Acesion realise the full potential of AP31969. The preclinical data is encouraging and with this series B financing in place Acesion will be able to progress the development to the important milestone of completing a phase 2 trial and thereby being ready for phase 3 programme.”