14 September 2022
SparingVision Raises €75 Million Series B to Continue Building World-Leading Portfolio of Genomic Medicines for Ocular Diseases
Proceeds to fund first-in-human trials of breakthrough gene therapy products, SPVN06 and SPVN20, and advance CRISPR-based genome editing portfolio in collaboration with Intellia Therapeutics
Series B was co-led by Jeito Capital and UPMC Enterprises, with participation from 4BIO Capital, Bpifrance, the RD Fund, and Ysios Capital
Paris, September 14, 2022 – SparingVision (“the Company”), a genomic medicine company developing vision-saving treatments for ocular diseases, today announces that it has raised €75 million in a Series B financing. The round was co-led by Jeito Capital (“Jeito”) and UPMC Enterprises, with additional participation from 4BIO Capital (“4BIO”), Bpifrance, the RD fund, venture arm of Foundation Fighting Blindness (“FFB”), and Ysios Capital (“Ysios”).
Proceeds from the financing will be used to fund the first-in-human trials of the Company’s two lead gene-independent assets, SPVN06 and SPVN20, as well as the development of genome editing assets through its collaboration with Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NTLA), a leading clinical-stage genome editing company. The financing extends SparingVision’s cash runway to the second half of 2025.
SPVN06 is a breakthrough gene therapy approach aimed at stopping or slowing disease progression in patients affected by Inherited Retinal Diseases (IRDs) and dry Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) with an initial focus on mid-stage Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). RP is one of the most common IRDs that affects two million patients worldwide and is the primary target of SPVN06. Regulatory submissions are underway ahead of a first-in-human clinical trial, which is expected to start later this year, with first safety data anticipated in 2023 and initial proof-of-concept data in 2025.
SPVN20, SparingVision’s second asset, is a pioneering gene therapy product synergistic with SPVN06 which is aimed at restoring visual acuity and colour vision in advanced and late-stage RP. SPVN20 is expected to enter the clinic in 2024, with first safety and activity data expected in 2025.
The financing will also enable SparingVision to advance SPVN50, the first genome editing product in development as part of its collaboration with Intellia Therapeutics in an undisclosed ocular target, after the two companies signed a strategic collaboration last year. SPVN50 is in early discovery studies.
Stéphane Boissel, President and Chief Executive Officer of SparingVision, said: “Since our last financing, we have been laser-focused on building the world’s leading portfolio of genomic medicines in the ocular space. With this financing, we are taking a significant step towards achieving clinical validation of our two lead assets and bringing mutation-agnostic genomic medicines to millions of patients affected by IRDs and dry AMD. Our ambition does not stop here, and we remain fully concentrated on our three core pillars of exploration: our mutation-agnostic gene therapies, the genome editing technology toolbox of our strategic partner Intellia Therapeutics and the potential of in-vivo reprogramming in the retina. My thanks go to our investors for their continued support and to everyone at SparingVision for their hard work and dedication to bringing vision-saving treatments to patients.”
Sabine Dandiguian, Managing Partner at Jeito Capital, commented: “SparingVision has the ambition to become the world’s leader in ocular genomic medicines and has built a strong and broad pipeline that is poised to enter the clinic. The company has not stood still, progressing its lead asset SPVN06, signing a strategic collaboration with the world’s most exciting CRISPR-Cas9 company Intellia Therapeutics and adding another novel therapy with the acquisition of GAMUT Therapeutics. Jeito is committed to supporting innovative companies like SparingVision with the potential of bringing ground-breaking treatments to patients in need and we look forward to continuing to support the company’s progress.”
Jeanne Cunicelli, President at UPMC Enterprises, the innovation, commercialization and venture capital arm of the leading health system UPMC, commented: “Over the last two years, the team at SparingVision has made incredible progress in building its pipeline of synergistic genomic medicines that aim to go beyond existing treatments to solve limitations in this field. As innovators focused on the toughest problems in healthcare, UPMC Enterprises is proud to continue supporting SparingVision’s mission.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
SparingVision is a genomic medicines company with a mission to translate pioneering science into vision saving treatments. Leveraging its unparalleled understanding of retinal diseases, SparingVision has built the world’s most compelling portfolio of synergistic cutting-edge gene therapy and genome editing treatments for inherited retinal diseases (IRDs). Both of its most advanced products, SPVN06 and SPVN20 look to go beyond single gene correction therapies to deliver new mutation agnostic treatments for Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a group of IRDs which are the leading cause of blindness globally. The Company also has a strategic collaboration with Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NTLA) to develop novel genome editing-based treatments for ocular diseases utilizing CRISPR-Cas9 technology.
SparingVision is a spin-off from the Paris Vision Institute and is backed by high-quality international investors including 4BIO Capital, AdBio Partners, Bpifrance, Fondation Voir & Entendre, Intellia Therapeutics, Jeito Capital, RD Fund (US), UPMC Enterprises, and Ysios Capital.
About Inherited Retinal Diseases
Inherited retinal diseases are a group of progressive eye conditions that can cause severe vision loss and, in certain cases, lead to total blindness. One of the most common examples is Retinitis Pigmentosa, a type of retinal dystrophy that involves a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina. Retinal dystrophies are caused by mutations in any one of more than 270 genes identified to date (over 70 genes for RP alone) and have become a target for novel genomic medicines.
About Jeito Capital
Jeito Capital is a global leading investment company with a patient benefit driven approach that finances and accelerates the development and growth of ground-breaking medical innovation. Jeito empowers and supports entrepreneurs through its expert, integrated, multi-talented team and through the investment of significant capital to ensure the growth of companies, building market leaders in their respective therapeutic areas with accelerated patients’ access globally especially in Europe and the United States. Jeito Capital has €534 million under management and a rapidly growing portfolio of investments. Jeito Capital is based in Paris with a presence in Europe and the United States. For more information, please visit www.jeito.life, or follow @Jeito_life on Twitter or LinkedIn.
About UPMC Enterprises
UPMC Enterprises is the innovation, commercialization, and venture capital arm of UPMC, a $21 billion health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh. With an emphasis on translational science and digital solutions, UPMC Enterprises provides its portfolio companies and partners with capital, connections and resources to develop solutions to health care’s most complex problems. Working in close collaboration with innovators from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, as well as others worldwide, UPMC Enterprises strives to accelerate science from the bench to the bedside and has committed to investing $1 billion in novel drugs, diagnostics and devices by 2024. For more information, please visit www.enterprises.upmc.com
About Ysios Capital
Ysios Capital is a leading Spanish venture capital firm that provides private equity financing to early- and mid-stage, highly innovative life science companies that develop disruptive therapeutic products and platform technologies to address clear medical needs. Ysios Capital was founded in 2008 and has over €400 million in assets under management through its three funds, with a team of 15 investment professionals, 5 venture partners, 2 operational partners and offices in San Sebastián and Barcelona. For more information www.ysioscapital.com
About 4BIO Capital
4BIO Capital (“4BIO”) is an international venture capital firm focused on investing in advanced therapies, including genomic medicines and other emerging technologies, to unlock the treatments of the future. 4BIO’s objective is to invest in, support, and grow early-stage companies developing treatments in areas of high unmet medical need, with the ultimate goal of ensuring access to these potentially curative therapies for all patients. Specifically, it looks for viable, high-quality opportunities in cell and gene therapy, RNA-based therapy, targeted therapies, and the microbiome.
The 4BIO team comprises leading advanced therapy scientists and experienced life science investors who have collectively published over 250 scientific articles in prestigious academic journals including Nature, The Lancet, Cell, and the New England Journal of Medicine. 4BIO has both an unrivalled network within the advanced therapy sector and a unique understanding of the criteria that define a successful investment opportunity in this space.
Bpifrance is the French national investment bank. It finances businesses at every stage of their development through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extra financial services (training, consultancy) to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export). For more information, please visit: www.bpifrance.com and presse.bpifrance.fr. Follow us on Twitter: @Bpifrance @BpifrancePresse
About The Retinal Degeneration Fund
The Retinal Degeneration Fund (RD Fund) is the venture arm of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and a leading investor in the Inherited Retinal Disease space. It was established in 2018 to serve the Foundation’s mission to rapidly drive research toward preventions, treatments and cures for the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases—including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. RD Fund focuses on mission-related investments in companies with projects nearing clinical testing.
About the Foundation Fighting Blindness
Established in 1971, the Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world’s leading private funding source for retinal degenerative disease research. The Foundation has raised more than $800 million toward its mission of accelerating research for preventing, treating, and curing blindness caused by the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, Usher syndrome, and Stargardt disease. Visit FightingBlindness.org for more information.