16 May 2019, Nijmegen, The Netherlands . Alveron Pharma, a newly incorporated company established by Okklo Life Sciences BV and Sanquinnovate (part of Sanquin), is pleased to announce the closing of a EUR 6.5M Series A financing round led by Thuja together with Waterman Ventures and Oost NL. This investment allows Alveron Pharma to select a lead compound, conduct non-clinical studies, and complete a first clinical study to demonstrate safety and obtain a first clinical readout.
Alveron Pharma will focus on a unique class of cyclodextrin-based drugs, that have the ability to promote blood coagulation without inducing it in the absence of bleeding. Alveron’s first target is to reverse the effects of anticoagulants. Anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) are widely prescribed to patients with increased thromboembolic risk. While effective in preventing thrombosis, these drugs also inhibit blood coagulation when this is needed urgently, e.g. in patients who suffer a major bleed or in case of emergency surgery. Anticoagulant related bleedings are not uncommon, and may be serious, and difficult to treat since no or only selective reversal agents are available. Alveron’s cyclodextrins are unique in the sense that they restore coagulation independent of the type of anticoagulant used. Sales of selective reversal agents have been estimated at around $2 billion per annum.
Ben Nichols, CEO of Alveron Pharma: “There is a clear unmet clinical need for a universal anti-coagulant reversal agent, and the early pre-clinical data for Alveron’s unique cyclodextrin compounds are compelling. Having recently taken a new class of coagulant into clinical trials, I am thrilled to be joining the founders of this business, Stephan Peters (who conceived the original idea, CSO) and Alex Zwiers (COO), with their expertise on cyclodextrins, and coagulation expert at Sanquin, Joost Meijers (Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board). Alex was also involved in the development of the world’s first cyclodextrin-based medicine, Bridion®.”
“Multiple factors come together in this investment that are highly attractive”, says Michel Briejer of Thuja, who led this transaction. “A highly experienced and knowledgeable team, a promising set of drug leads, and a reputable partner in the field of blood, Sanquin. We are extremely pleased to be part of this venture and are confident that Alveron will create success for doctors and patients alike.”