Vandria SA, a company at the vanguard of mitochondrial therapeutics developing first-in-class small molecule mitophagy inducers, today announced that it has been awarded two grants totalling € 3.8M from Innosuisse and Eurostars to support its two lead drug candidates addressing CNS and muscle diseases, respectively. This financial support from two independent research granting agencies is validation of Vandria’s scientific approach.
The grant totalling CHF 2.5M is the second awarded to Vandria by InnoSuisse and will support the early clinical development plan for the lead CNS mitophagy drug candidate VNA-318 that has the potential to treat cognitive impairment, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Vandria contributes CHF 4.6M to the grant alongside the CHF 2.5M non-dilutive funding from InnoSuisse. This grant follows a research grant awarded two years ago resulting in the generation of positive pre-clinical data in the indications of NASH and Alzheimer’s Disease. VNA-318 is a patent-protected, brain-penetrant, first-in-class mitophagy inducer on track to enter clinical trials in Europe in Q2 2024. Innosuisse is the Swiss Innovation Agency that helps to fund science-based pre-commercial projects of start-ups with significant innovation potential.
The Eurostars grant totalling €1.1M, to which Vandria adds €0.5M, is awarded to support mitophagy drug candidate VNA-052 to generate pre-clinical data in Vandria’s muscle program in collaboration with Prof. Olivier Benveniste of hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière AP-HP, France, Biomeostasis, France and Bi/ond Solutions, Netherlands. Eurostars is part of the European Partnership on Innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. The partnership is co-funded by the European Union through Horizon Europe and is administered in Switzerland through Innosuisse.
Klaus Dugi, MD, CEO of Vandria said, “These prestigious grant awards are an endorsement of the science and the team behind Vandria. Our first Innosuisse grant provided financing in addition to valuable ongoing coaching support during the company’s early stages, and we are grateful for this second more substantial grant as we approach our transition into a clinical stage company. The Eurostars grant significantly helps us to advance, in parallel, our program in muscle disease.
“Non-dilutive governmental grant funding is highly valuable to innovative, fast-moving companies such as Vandria to push forward drug candidates in areas of high unmet need.”
Capitalizing on 15 years of discovery science, Vandria was spun out of Amazentis SA in 2021 to develop first-in-class small molecule mitophagy inducers against a novel target to rejuvenate cells and treat age-related and chronic diseases. Mitophagy is the selective removal and replacement of damaged mitochondria and has anti-inflammatory effects. The company announced its Series A fundraise of $20.6M (CHF 18M) in late 2023, led by ND Capital.
In addition to VNA-318 and VNA-052, Vandria has a pipeline of other mitophagy-inducing small molecules to address unmet medical need in other diseases such as those related to lung and liver, respectively.
Priority medicines (PRIME) is a scheme run by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to enhance support for the development of medicines that target an unmet medical need. The scheme is based on enhanced interaction and early dialogue with developers of promising medicines, to optimize development plans and speed up evaluation so these medicines can reach patients earlier EMA CHMP acknowledges that n
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