Desentum Will Run a Clinical Trial on its Allergy Vaccine this Winter Supported by 4 M€ of New Investments
HELSINKI, Nov. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Finnish biopharmaceutical company Desentum is about to initiate a first-in-human clinical trial with its birch pollen hypoallergen designed to improve immunotherapeutic treatment of birch pollen allergy. In a funding round arranged by Springvest Oy, the company raised 4 million euros that it intends to use for funding clinical trials, developing new hypoallergens and advancing business goals.
Desentum develops novel type of immunotherapeutic hypoallergens, so called allergy vaccines. The hypoallergens are biotechnologically produced, modified allergen proteins aimed for improving the efficiency of allergen immunotherapy while also reducing the time required for treatment. The lead product candidate, birch pollen hypoallergen DM-101 (Bet v 1 dm), has produced good results in preclinical tests assessing allergenicity and immunogenicity, and is now advancing to clinical phase.
In clinical trials, the safety and efficacy of a new medicinal product is demonstrated in volunteer study subjects. The primary objective of Desentum's first clinical trial is to confirm the safety of DM-101, but information about the immunological response generated by the hypoallergen is also collected.
"For the past couple of years, we have worked together with international allergen immunotherapy experts to prepare for the clinical studies. The first study plan was submitted for regulatory and ethics evaluation in the summer of 2019. The study will be performed in Finland and the dosing is scheduled to be completed before 2020 birch pollen season", explains Pekka Mattila, CEO of Desentum.
To strengthen the company's financial position, Desentum initiated a funding round in September. It was carried out by a Finnish investment service company Springvest Oy. The public offering was fully subscribed, which translates to approximately 4 million euros of collected capital. Desentum plans on using the majority of the proceeds for funding early-stage clinical trials. The remaining funds will be used for the research and development of new hypoallergens as well as for partnering activities to support late-stage clinical trials and market access.