It’s likely you’ve hit your head before and thought nothing of it. But depending on the severity of the impact, it could result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) – a common, underdiagnosed condition that can result in a range of cognitive and behavioural problems that make it difficult to lead a normal life. For example, studies have shown that around half of homeless men had suffered TBIs before becoming homeless.
In Europe alone, head trauma is the cause of about 2.5 million emergency room visits each year, roughly one million hospital admissions, nearly 75,000 deaths and approximately 100,000 cases of severe long-term disability (such as functional and cognitive disorders and learning disabilities). The global economic burden of TBI is estimated at about $400 billion when indirect costs such as productivity loss are taken into consideration.Würzburg-based vasopharm GmbH is a biopharmaceutical company developing a develop novel therapeutics to treat TBIs.
The company has announced the successful raise of a €9.5 million financing round co-led by HeidelbergCapital Private Equity and EF Investments. Existing investors Bayern Kapital, Future Capital, clients of Hanseatic Asset Management and Ringtons Holdings also participated in the round.
vasopharm’s lead product, Ronopterin (VAS203), is in Phase III development for the treatment of moderately to severely injured closed head TBI patients.
Ronopterin is currently in a 220 patient pivotal European NOSTRA III trial which is on course to complete recruitment in Q4 of this year. vasopharm’s NOSTRA III is the most advanced commercial pharmacological TBI programme currently in human clinical trials in the world.
The funding will enable vasopharm to complete chemistry, manufacturing, and controls scale up and stability testing in preparation for commercial scale production, ahead of the potential filing of a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In addition, the company will explore additional indications which it believes to be mechanistically similar.
“Following the DMC recommendation to continue the NOSTRA III trial as per protocol, we are delighted to close this funding round, and now have the resources to complete all necessary steps to support a possible clinical data submission in 2020,” said Christian Wandersee, CEO of vasopharm. “We are pleased to welcome Creathor Ventures to vasopharm and would like to thank our existing investors for their continued support. This funding will enable us to develop and deliver an essential therapeutic option to both physicians and patients who experience the devastating and life-long consequences of TBI.”