Paris, France, November 8, 2017 – Horama (www.horama.fr), a French biotech company based in Paris and Nantes that specialises in gene therapy for the treatment of rare, inherited retinal diseases, announces today a 19 million euros Series B financing from four new investment funds (Kurma Partners, the lead investor; Fund+; Pontifax; and Idinvest) and from the company’s historical investors (Omnes Capital; GO Capital; and Sham Innovation Santé/Turenne). This fundraising was intended to finance the development of the HORA-PDE6B project, including the start of its clinical phase, which has just been authorised by the French regulatory bodies. This financing round took place on the heels of the 4 million euros raised in July 2016 (Series A).
Horama has developed a diversified portfolio drawing on its gene-therapy platform, whose two main programs have orphan-drug status: HORA-PDE6B (retinitis pigmentosa), which will soon be administered to the first-ever patient in a Phase I/II clinical trial; and HORA-RLPB1 (RPA or Retinitis Punctata Albescens), which is at a nonclinical stage.
HORA-PDE6B is a drug candidate for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa caused by mutations in the PDE6B gene. This replacement gene therapy provides a non-mutated copy of the PDE6B gene to express a functional PDE6β protein. There is currently no approved treatment for retinitis pigmentosa.
“We thank Omnes Capital, GO Capital and Sham Innovation Santé/Turenne for their renewed trust as well as our new investors, Kurma Partners, Fund +, Pontifax and Idinvest, for their support. The success of this fundraising comes as further recognition of our ability to develop gene therapy treatments in ophthalmology. It will allow us to boost our research programs, including our Phase I/II study with HORA-PDE6B” reacted Christine Placet, CEO of Horama.
“Kurma Partners shares Horama’s passion for developing treatments for rare diseases with no effective treatment available. We are pleased to support the team as it prepares to launch a Phase I/II clinical trial for the HORA-PDE6B product” said Thierry Laugel, Managing Partner at Kurma Partners.
“In July 2016, our goal was to strengthen the Horama teams and, in particular, bring HORA-PDE6B to the clinical stage. These objectives were met through the addition of key skills and the authorisation granted by ANSM to launch the HORA-PDE6B Phase I/II clinical study. The additional funds raised will allow Horama to take the next step in its development” added Bruno Montanari, Partner at Omnes Capital.
“We have been impressed by Horama’s potential and the quality of its team and are happy to support its development” said Ohad Hammer, Partner at Pontifax.
“We are delighted to join this strong syndicate of leading life science investors” said Dr. Philippe Monteyne, a partner at Fund +. “We were drawn to Horama by its experienced team and their innovative approach to gene therapy. This powerful combination will contribute to making treatments available in the future for rare ophthalmological diseases.”
Horama is a clinical-stage biotech company that develops gene-therapy treatments, based on recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors, targeting rare inherited retinal diseases. Horama was founded in 2014 by a complementary team of world-renown academic researchers who conducted, in 2011, one of the first clinical trials of gene therapy applied to ophthalmology in France, including: Philippe Moullier, Christian Hamel (1955-2017) and Vasiliki Kalatzis, from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM); and Michel Weber and Guylène Le Meur, from the Nantes University Hospital in France.
Kurma Partners is a leading European investor in health and biotechnology innovation, from start-up capital to growth capital, including through Kurma Biofund I and II, Kurma Diagnostics and strategic partnerships with prestigious research and medical European institutions.
For more information: www.kurmapartners.com
Fund+ is an open-ended Fund for long term equity investments in innovative life sciences companies with a focus on Belgium. The fund wants to create sustainable shareholders’ value, contribute to the development of a leadership position of the Belgian Life Sciences sector and generate a tangible, beneficial societal impact.
For more information: www.fundplus.be
Founded in 2004, Pontifax is a venture capital firm specializing in healthcare with more than $ 350 million in management. Pontifax is looking to invest in advanced life-sciences technologies at all stages of development.
For more information: http://www.pontifax.com
Idinvest Partners is a private equity leader investing in small and medium-sized businesses in Europe, with more than €8 billion under management. Since 1997, Idinvest has invested in major innovations that keep driving the growth of information and internet technologies in Europe, through its involvement in companies such as Criteo, Talend, Onfido, Secret Ventures, Sigfox, Vestiaire Collective and Talend.
For more information: http://www.idinvest.com
Omnes Capital is a major private equity and infrastructure player. With €3.6 billion in assets under management, Omnes Capital provides companies with the capital they need to finance their growth through three main service areas: Venture Capital, Capital Development & Transmission and Infrastructure. Omnes Capital was a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole up until March 2012. Today, the company is fully owned by its employees. Omnes Capital signed the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
For more information: www.omnescapital.com
GO Capital is an independent venture capital firm that manages over €170 million and invests primarily in high- tech companies located in Western and Central France, in the fields of Digital Economy, Life Sciences, Ecotechnologies and Service Innovation. GO CAPITAL invests in companies via several funds, from their creation to their expansion worldwide, in order to boost their development.
For more information: www.gocapital.fr
Turenne Capital, a leading private equity firm in France, has been supporting entrepreneurs for 16 years in the development and sale of their companies. An independent management company, Turenne Capital manages more than €900 million. Turenne Capital invests in Health Innovation through Sham Innovation Santé, a venture capital fund the company advises on behalf of SHAM, and through the mutual fund Techno Numérique et Santé. Turenne also invests in the medical research field by supporting and managing the Béatrice Denys Foundation for Therapeutic Innovation, which rewards the most successful French academic research projects, under the auspices of the Foundation for Medical Research.
For more information: www.turennecapital.com