May 4 French gene therapy start-up Vivet
Therapeutics said on Thursday it had raised 37.5 million euros
($41 million) in an initial financing round, with backing from
the venture arms of Swiss drugmakers Novartis and Roche
Other investors include Columbus Venture Partners,
HealthCap, Kurma Partners and Ysios Capital.
Vivet, created last year in Paris with a wholly owned
subsidiary in Spain, is focused on developing novel gene
therapies for rare, inherited metabolic diseases.
Its lead programme VTX801, which is expected to enter
clinical testing by the end of 2018, targets a condition called
Wilson disease caused by a defective gene in liver cells that
can require liver transplantation and is sometimes fatal.
Vivet has developed a next-generation AAV gene therapy
technology designed to increase gene expression levels in the
liver, while reducing the risk of undesirable immune system
Gene therapy seeks to cure rare genetic diseases by offering
a one-time fix of a faulty DNA. There is rising interest in the
field, even though the Western world's first gene therapy for an
ultra-rare condition is being pulled from the market due to lack
($1 = 0.9182 euros)
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Jason Neely)