Modus Therapeutics, a company developing treatments specifically for sickle cell disease, has successfully completed a financing campaign that raised a total of 32 million Swedish krona (about €3.4 million euros) to develop sevuparin.
Sevuparin is a proprietary polysaccharide drug with the potential to restore blood flow and prevent further microvascular (small blood vessel) obstructions caused by abnormal blood cells.
Sevuparin has anti-adhesive properties that make treatment of the underlying cause of vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) — obstructed blood circulation — possible in sickle cell patients. Sevuparin allows for earlier pain relief, shorter hospital stays, reduced need of opioids and improved quality of life, the company says.
Modus is accepting patient enrollments in an ongoing Phase 2 study (NCT02515838) aiming to evaluate sevuparin in the management of acute VOC in patients with sickle cell disease.
In the second half of 2016, the study was grown to include a total of 120 evaluable VOC commitments. In addition, after a planned safety review in November 2016, the study was given a green light to enroll teens between the ages of 12 and 18 years. Patients from European, Middle Eastern and Caribbean countries are welcome to enroll.
Top-line data from this Phase 2 study is expected to be presented during the first half of 2018.
“SCD is a painful, inherited blood disorder affecting millions of people around the globe. With this continuing support from our long-term investors, Modus has secured the financial resources needed to complete the ongoing Phase II study,” Christina Herder, CEO of Modus Therapeutics, said in a press release.
In November 2016, Modus Therapeutics also received two U.S. patents covering sevuparin. Specifically, the two patents have been granted claims for the substance sevuparin and a manufacturing method for producing the drug (U.S. Patent 9480701) and for its use in treating sickle cell disease (U.S. Patent 9480702).
In the study grounding the patent application, sevuparin was found to reduce adhesion of both sickle red cells and a specific type of white blood cells to endothelial cells, which line the interior of blood vessels, in vitro and to inhibit vaso-occlusion in vivo.
Modus Therapeutics is one of Karolinska Development’s group of portfolio companies. Karolinska Development is a Sweden-based medical innovation investment company.