The Series C extension round will accelerate clinical development, manufacturing scale-up and pre-commercialization activities of Pulmocide’s lead product candidate, opelconazole
PARIS - December 6th 2022 - Jeito Capital ("Jeito"), the largest fully independent international private equity firm dedicated to healthcare and biopharma, announced today its participation in a $52 million Series C extension financing round in portfolio company Pulmocide, a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel inhaled therapies for patients suffering from serious acute and chronic respiratory diseases. Jeito previously led an oversubscribed $92 million raise in Pulmocide, and has since provided continuous support to the Company in line with its unique investment strategy.
Jeito participated in the extension alongside new lead investors, Pictet Alternative Advisors and Vivo Capital together with other existing investors, SV Health Investors, SR One, IP Group plc, F-Prime Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Adjuvant Capital, Asahi Kasei Pharma, Longwood Fund, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The total raise for Pulmocide’s Series C is $147.5 million.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to further fund clinical development, manufacturing scale-up and preparation for potential commercialization of the company’s lead product candidate, opelconazole. Opelconazole is a potent, novel inhaled triazole antifungal being developed for the treatment of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA), a disease associated with high mortality and morbidity. The Company has initiated a global registration program to test the compound when given in addition to current standard of care against invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in patients failing first line therapy. Pulmocide is also conducting a Phase 2b clinical trial using opelconazole as a monotherapy for prophylaxis against aspergillus infections in patients post lung transplant surgery.
Dr Rafaèle Tordjman, MD, PhD, Founder and CEO of Jeito Capital, commented: “Pulmocide, our fourth investment, has made significant clinical and regulatory progress since our involvement, and the team continues to accelerate the development of its registration-stage lead product with the aim of delivering a promising new therapy to patients as quickly and safely as possible.”
Sabine Dandiguian, Managing Partner at Jeito, said: “Pulmocide continues to make remarkable headway in the field of severe respiratory disease, and opelconazole has the potential to deliver a transformative therapeutic option for patients resisting to existing treatments. Jeito’s further investment in Pulmocide demonstrates our commitment to support the most innovative biopharmaceutical companies and accelerate the development of much-needed treatments for patients. We look forward to continuing our work with Daniel and the team.”
Daniel Burgess, Chairman and CEO of Pulmocide. “We are thrilled with the support from both our new and existing investors in advancing Pulmocide’s mission. Together with the $95 million raised last year, we are well positioned to move opelconazole through late-stage development and to prepare to bring this potentially important new therapy to patients desperately in need of new treatment options.”
About Jeito Capital
Jeito Capital is a global leading Private Equity company with a patient benefit driven approach that finances and accelerates the development and growth of ground-breaking medical innovation. Jeito empowers and supports managers 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.
Pulmocide Ltd (www.pulmocide.com) is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of a novel inhaled azole therapy for patients at risk of developing serious complications associated with aspergillosis, such as immunocompromised patients and those with severe pulmonary diseases. The company is currently focused on acute and chronic treatments for pulmonary aspergillosis and its lead product opelconazole is being developed initially for the treatment of IPA.
About Pulmonary Aspergillosis
The incidence of pulmonary fungal disease has increased substantially over the past two decades with Aspergillus species being the most common pathogen. Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates in immuno-compromised patients including those undergoing hematological stem cell or solid organ transplantation (particularly lung transplants) and some patients in critical care, including those with COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis. Aspergillus infection also plays an important role in severe asthma and cystic fibrosis and has been correlated with poorer clinical outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic lung infections with Aspergillus can leave patients with extensive and permanent lung damage, requiring a lifetime of antifungal treatment.
Pulmocide’s opelconazole is a potent novel azole therapy specifically designed for inhaled use to maximize the amount of drug in the lung while providing minimal systemic exposure. This profile is anticipated to enhance efficacy with a low risk for adding to the toxicities and drug-drug interactions seen with systemic antifungal therapies. Under the United Kingdom’s Special Needs provision, opelconazole was found to be generally well tolerated and demonstrated remarkable clinical responses. In this program, patients with a variety of different clinical profiles that had failed previous antifungal treatment options responded well when opelconazole was added to their treatment regimen. Opelconazole has the potential to be useful in a variety of conditions where Aspergillus has been implicated, including chronic pulmonary aspergillosis, cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, severe flu, and post-COVID-19-associated lung damage. A late-stage clinical program has been initiated to support registration in patients who have failed prior therapy for IPA.