The financing was led by new investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and was supported by existing Prosensa investors, Abingworth, Life Sciences Partners, Gimv, Idinvest Partners and MedSciences Capital. David Mott, General Partner of NEA, will join Prosensa’s Supervisory Board. The fundraising will enable Prosensa to advance its portfolio of RNA-modulating therapeutics for the treatment of rare diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), Myotonic Dystrophy (DM1) and Huntington’s disease (HD).
Hans Schikan, CEO of Prosensa, commented: “Over the past few years, we have made substantial progress in our research and development pipeline. Our lead drug candidate for Duchenne muscular dystrophy is in Phase III clinical trials in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. We have advanced the development of five additional compounds in DMD and have announced preclinical testing for a compound for DM1. This financing will help us to further strengthen our position in rare diseases and will allow us to deliver on our promise of accelerated development of treatments for patients in need.”
“We are excited by the opportunity to invest in Prosensa, one of the most promising emerging European biopharmaceutical companies,” said David Mott, General Partner of New Enterprise Associates. “Prosensa has world-class science, management and co-investors, and most importantly is developing therapies for rare genetic diseases which may offer tremendous benefits to patients. Their progress to date, particularly with the Phase III Duchenne muscular dystrophy program, is very encouraging.” Mr. Mott added, “While NEA is one of the largest venture firms in the world, with more than $11 billion in capital under management, Prosensa is our first biopharma investment in Europe and signals our openness to selectively consider investing in truly exceptional innovation in Europe as well as in our traditional geographies in the U.S., China and India.”
Daan Ellens, Chairman of Prosensa’s Supervisory Board commented: “Prosensa welcomes NEA to its investor base and David Mott to its Supervisory Board. David’s impressive track record, and his prior experience at MedImmune and AstraZeneca, will be a valuable extension in the Supervisory Board’s expertise, thereby helping Prosensa reach its next milestones.”
Prosensa has the most advanced portfolio of drug candidates for DMD in the industry, with two compounds in clinical trials in partnership with GSK (PRO051/GSK2402968 and PRO044) and four additional compounds in preclinical development, as well as preclinical compounds for DM1 and HD. Prosensa’s DMD compounds are based on its proprietary exon-skipping technology that uses antisense oligonucleotides to restore expression of a functional dystrophin protein and to provide potential treatment for patients affected by this progressively debilitating neuromuscular disease.