Funding will enable further development of Ugimer® antisense drugs in inflammation and immunology
Innsbruck, Austria, 28 May 2013 – ugichem GmbH, developer of a novel antisense drug platform, has raised €2.25 million from public and private investors to advance preclinical Ugimer® drug development for immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID). ugichem was awarded a grant of €850,000 by Austria’s Research Promotion Agency FFG and received an equity financing of €1.4 million from existing investors.
Based on its proprietary Ugimer platform ugichem aims to develop a pipeline of antisense drugs addressing unmet medical needs in indications involving inflammatory processes with a current focus on rheumatoid arthritis.
With a new in vivo efficacy and safety profile the Ugimer antisense drug platform enables the functional modification of disease-relevant, previously undruggable targets in tissues and cells of the immune system not amenable to standard antisense approaches and RNAi. Ugimers penetrate immune cells, such as T cells, without the need for additional delivery tools and do not stimulate the immune system resulting in reduced side effects and an improved safety profile. Recent preclinical data using Ugimers demonstrated a highly efficacious modulation of target mRNAs and, consequentially, a significant reduction of inflammatory cytokines after endotoxemia in vivo in various key tissues for inflammatory disease including the spleen and thymus.
Dr Holger Bock, CEO of ugichem, said: “During the past two years we have generated significant evidence to support our unique antisense platform. Ugimers enable the utilization of the powerful antisense mechanism to modulate previously undruggable targets in inflammation. The additional funding will be used to further build on the therapeutic value of Ugimers and will allow us to identify lead candidates in acute and chronic inflammation.”
Notes to Editors
ugichem is developing antisense drugs based on its proprietary Ugimer platform for unmet medical needs in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID).
Ugimers overcome the shortcomings of standard antisense technologies or RNAi. In contrast, Ugimers are not derived from natural nucleic acids but are based on the peptide nucleic acid (PNA) backbone and carry specific side chains for improved delivery, efficacy and specificity. This innovative design provides Ugimers with unique biopharmaceutical properties allowing them access to previously inaccessible organs, cells and cellular compartments, including the immune system. Moreover, Ugimers are the first and only antisense drugs that have efficacy in mitochondria.
Located in Innsbruck, ugichem is funded by private and public investors and supported by grants from Austria’s Research Promotion Agency FFG.
For more information on the company, please visit: www.ugichem.com
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