21 October 2021
VarmX awarded funding from the EIC Accelerator to support scale up and manufacturing of VMX-C001
Funding comprises grant financing of up to €2.5 million and up to €15 million in equity investment
Recommended that VarmX awarded maximum allowed funding in recognition of game- changing potential of VMX-C001 in reversing FXa-DOAC-induced anticoagulation
Leiden, The Netherlands, 21 October 2021 – VarmX, a biotech company focusing on the development of innovative approaches for the reversal of anticoagulation, has been awarded up to €17.5 million from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator, subject to negotiatiton, to upscale and accelerate cost effective manufacturing of its lead compound, VMX-C001.
The EIC Accelerator aims to support start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in development and scale up of game-changing innovations. The fund is able to award companies non- dilutive grant funding and direct equity investments up to a combined possible total of €17.5 million, to support innovative development, scale up and other relevant costs.
VarmX was among 65 start-ups and SMEs selected, located across 16 countries, which will together receive €363 million of funding for breakthrough innovations. Based on project assessment criteria of excellence, scale-up potential, and level of risk, a panel of expert independent evaluators and EIC jury members recommended that VarmX should be awarded the maximum allowed funding, subject to negotiation. As part of the EIC community, VarmX will also receive further benefits, including coaching, mentoring, and access to investors and corporates.
The funding will be used to support VarmX’s lead compound, VMX-C001, which is being developed for the treatment of severe spontaneous bleeding in patients taking Factor Xa Direct Oral Anticoagulants (FXa DOACs) and for the prevention of bleeding in patients taking FXa DOACs who require emergency surgery.
Currently, over 10 million patients in the US and Europe are treated with FXa DOACs as an anticoagulation therapy for chronic indications, such as avoiding stroke in people with atrial fibrillation and preventing deep vein thrombosis. Each year, 2-3% of these patients experience spontaneous and severe life-threatening bleeding. Furthermore, a significant number of patients taking FXa DOACs have to undergo emergency surgery, with an associated risk of bleeding. VMX- C001 is insensitive to FXa DOACS and able to restore the coagulation cascade. It is expected to offer a number of clinical advantages, including universal dosing regardless of the FXa DOACs used, ease of administration, and absence of pro-thrombotic risk.
Jan Ohrstrom, CEO of VarmX, commented: “We are delighted to have been selected and grateful to the EIC for its support towards accelerating progression of our lead compound, VMX-C001, into the next phase of its development. The grant is a testament to both the quality of the preclinical data for our product and to the importance and potentially life-saving impact of VMX-C001 for future patients. We look forward to the benefits that being an EIC community member will bring.”
VarmX is a pharmaceutical spin-off from the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), founded in 2016 by Professor Pieter Reitsma, a world leading expert in hemostasis and thrombosis. VarmX’s lead compound VMX-C001 is a modified recombinant blood factor X based on the venom of the Australian brown snake, Pseudonaja textilis. The compound is being developed for the treatment of severe spontaneous bleeding in patients taking oral factor Xa inhibitors (FXa DOACs) as anticoagulation therapy and for the prevention of bleeding in patients taking FXa DOACS who require emergency surgery. In July 2020, the Company raised €32m in a series B financing, supported by a strong syndicate of investors including Ysios Capital, INKEF Capital, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, LSP, BioGeneration Ventures and the regional economic development fund, InnovationQuarter. For more information: www.varmx.com.