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Financing led by Fresenius Medical Care Ventures
Proceeds will be used to accelerate lead program in kidney xenotransplant into the clinic and progress a range of other xenotransplant programs across solid organ and cell therapy
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- eGenesis, a biotechnology company utilizing breakthrough gene editing technologies for the development of safe and effective human-compatible organs to address the global organ shortage, today announced the successful completion of a $100 million Series B financing. The financing was led by Fresenius Medical Care Ventures (FMCV), with participation from new investors including Leaps by Bayer, and Wellington Partners. Existing investors including, but not limited to, ARCH Venture Partners, Biomatics Capital, Alta Partners, and Khosla Ventures all participated.
eGenesis is committed to helping solve the global organ shortage by pioneering an alternative source of human-compatible organs. Over 110,000 patients are on the organ transplant waitlist in the U.S. alone, with approximately 20 patients dying per day because they are unable to find a suitable organ donor. This financing will enable the acceleration of the eGenesis kidney xenotransplant program into the clinic, as well as support advancement of a range of other xenotransplant programs across islet cell, liver, heart, and lung. The focus of the company is to rapidly advance an entirely new set of options across the transplantation field.
“With this new round of financing from industry leaders, eGenesis is well positioned to continue to advance the development of human-compatible organs to address the dire shortage in the U.S. and around the world,” said Paul Sekhri, president and chief executive officer of eGenesis. “The concept of cross-species organ replacement, known as xenotransplantation, has re-emerged due to recent advancements in gene editing led by eGenesis, and will become a safe and effective solution for the hundreds of thousands of patients currently on the organ transplant waitlist globally.”
“The eGenesis approach represents a truly transformational option for patients with kidney disease,” said Dr. Olaf Schermeier, chief executive officer for global research and development of Fresenius Medical Care. “We look forward to providing our industry leading experience in treating patients with kidney disease to support the company as they aim to bring their solution into the clinical setting.”
“Leaps by Bayer is dedicated to spearheading paradigm-shifting advances in the life sciences that could fundamentally change the world for the better,” noted Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer. “We believe eGenesis is poised to revolutionize the entire organ transplantation market, which could save lives in a way that was previously not thought possible just a few years ago.”
In connection with the financing, Al Wiegman, Head of Ventures at FMCV, as well as Jürgen Eckhardt and Dr. Lucio Iannone, Director of Venture Investments at Leaps by Bayer, will join the eGenesis Board of Directors.
About Transplantation and Xenotransplantation
The demand for lifesaving organs far outnumbers available supply. In the U.S. today, 20 people die every day due to lack of available organs for transplant and every 10 minutes an additional name is added to the national transplant waitlist. There are more than 113,000 people in need of a lifesaving organ transplant in the U.S. alone.
The concept of xenotransplantation, or the transplantation of organs, tissue and cells from one species into another, has been explored for several decades, with the pig considered the most suitable donor for humans. However, until the development of modern gene editing tools, incompatibilities related to virology and immunology have prevented porcine organ xenotransplantation from entering clinical development.
eGenesis’ goal is to make available safe and reliable xeno organs, tissues, and cells to patients in need and advance the field of transplantation. eGenesis uses gene editing technology such as CRISPR to directly address the key virology and immunology hurdles that have impeded xenotransplantation to date. eGenesis is advancing an initial product toward the clinic for kidney transplant, with the longer-term potential of addressing a broader organ recipient population and expanding the applicability of xenotransplantation into other areas such as cell therapy. Learn more at egenesisbio.com.
About Fresenius Medical Care
Fresenius Medical Care is the world's largest provider of products and services for individuals with renal diseases of which around 3.4 million patients worldwide regularly undergo dialysis treatment. Through its network of 4,003 dialysis clinics, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatments for 342,488 patients around the globe. Fresenius Medical Care is also the leading provider of dialysis products such as dialysis machines or dialyzers. Along with its core business, the company provides related medical services in the field of Care Coordination. Fresenius Medical Care is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FME) and on the New York Stock Exchange (FMS).
About Fresenius Medical Care Ventures GmbH
Fresenius Medical Care Ventures was established to invest in start-ups and early-stage companies in the healthcare sector. The investments are targeted to support Fresenius Medical Care’s corporate strategy to grow continuously in the company’s core business and to expand into new business areas. Fresenius Medical Care Ventures complements its corporate innovation initiatives by external innovation. For more information, visit http://www.fmcv.com.
About Bayer and Leaps by Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Bayer’s products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, Bayer aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Bayer global group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
Leaps by Bayer, a unit of Bayer is investing into solutions to some of today’s biggest problems. Previous Leaps investments into potentially breakthrough technologies include Casebia Therapeutics (cure genetic diseases), BlueRock Therapeutics (regenerate lost tissue function), Joyn Bio (reduce environmental impact of farming) as well as Khloris, Century Therapeutics and Pyxis Oncology (prevent and cure cancer).
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