GeNeuro, a European biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments, focused on stopping causal factors driving the progression of neurodegenerative and autoimmune disease raised €17.5 million ($19.3 million) international private placement to certain qualified and institutional investors of 5.9 million shares of the company’s stock—offered at a price of €2.95 each.
Company Needs the Capital for MS Study
The company was facing a tight cash situation and needed the capital to fund a multiple sclerosis clinical trial—testing its temelimab in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients whose ailment continues without relapses.
MS, a demyelinating disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leads to the disruption of the ability of parts of the nervous system to transmit signals, resulting in a range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental and at times psychiatric problems. An estimated 2 million suffer from MS. Nearly 19,000 die from the disease annually.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are no cures for MS. There are therapies for MS attacks, as well as treatments to attempt to modify progression not to mention treatments to deal with MS signs and symptoms.
What is Temelimab?
Also called GNbAC1, temelimab is an antibody targeting a pathogenic envelope protein known as HERV-W. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, the experimental therapy targets a human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) believed to play a role in the development of MS. This treatment approach, or mechanism of action diverges from other approved medications. HERVEs are genetic elements that are either hereditary, replicated from a host cell, or result from a germ. Interestingly, the viral envelope protein encoded by one HERV has been identified in active MS lesions.
Hence temelimab, a monoclonal antibody, is developed to neutralize this protein and with hope, blocks harmful inflammation, and facilitates restoration of the myelin sheath that coats nerve fibers and that is damaged in MS. This agent is also being investigated in Type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune disease.
Who is GeNeuro?
GeNeur is a European biotechnology company, based in Switzerland, developing innovative treatments against inflammatory and degenerative disorders associated with endogenous retroviruses.
GeNeuro is a biotechnology company developing innovative treatments against inflammatory and degenerative disorders associated with endogenous retroviruses. Founded in 2006, the venture went public in 2016, raising about 35 million Euros. A recent corporate presentation is linked here.
Their lead experimental treatment candidate, temelimab, is most advanced with the MS investigation—entering Phase IIb according to their pipeline report. They have had some challenges, for example, a co-development partner disengaged on one study. In this study, they initially partnered with French biopharma company Servier. The larger company saw potential with the early clinical data with GNbAC1. However, the study failed to meet the endpoint in the study, and hence Servier pulled out.
Since Servier disengaged in the MS clinical trial, investors were generally spooked by this stock, and the share price dropped to under three from 12 over a nearly year-and-a-half period. Despite this loss of confidence, GeNeuro forges ahead, believing there is sufficient data to secure ongoing studies.