Eternygen GmbH, a privately owned Berlin-based metabolic diseases company, has announced the completion of its €8.0 million Series A funding round.
Epidarex Capital led the round, and Evotec AG participated together with a consortium of investors, including VC Fonds Technologie, managed by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH, and two renowned family offices.
Eternygen’s research and development programme is focused on the sodium coupled citrate transporter (NaCT), a novel target that is also known as INDY (I am Not Dead Yet). INDY is a key regulator of energy metabolism that may be involved in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), diabetes and obesity.
Prof. Dr Andreas Birkenfeld, one of Eternygen’s scientific founders, is a recognised opinion leader in INDY research. The company has successfully generated in-vivo proof of concept data with an early lead candidate showing strong effects on glucose and lipid metabolism, with significant improvements in body weight, insulin sensitivity and fatty liver disease in animal models.
Eternygen will use the proceeds of the Series A funding to accelerate its small molecule NaCT inhibitors towards the selection of a preclinical lead candidate. The company will continue its partnership with Evotec AG to conduct its preclinical development programme.
Marco Janezic, CEO Eternygen GmbH, said: “The successful completion of our series A round with a syndicate of renowned investors is great recognition for the achievements at Eternygen. Epidarex and Evotec have significant expertise turning novel targets into successful drug development projects and to commercialise such programmes. We are convinced that the world-class metabolic drug development expertise these investors bring to the table will greatly accelerate and enhance our company.”
Kyp Sirinakis, Managing Partner at Epidarex Capital, added: “Epidarex is pleased to be backing such a strong group of scientific and commercialization partners to advance this promising technology and ultimately improve human health worldwide.”
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are very excited to take part in the growth and ownership of a company that, together with Evotec, has assembled world-leading expertise and tools around a very promising mechanism in metabolic disease. Combining academic excellence with a highly focused management team and a proven platform is a highly effective model for Evotec to bring forward projects with first-in-class potential. Eternygen fits perfectly into this mould.”
M. Johnston Erwin, VP Corporate Business Development, Eli Lilly and Company, said: “Eternygen has the potential to create a first in class small molecule inhibitor of INDY, which could be a significant development in the treatment paradigm for dietary related metabolic diseases.”
Erwin added: “As one of the several investors in Epidarex, we support the development of this molecule and the potential to help speed delivery to patients.”
No further financial details are disclosed.