Enterprise Therapeutics recently closed a £29 million ($41 million) Series B financing round to help advance into clinical development the company’s pipeline of potential mucus-targeting therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF) and other lung diseases with a high unmet medical need.
“We are very encouraged by progress the Enterprise team made in generating candidates for highly sought-after but challenging targets. This financing should enable introduction of novel therapeutics for patients with cystic fibrosis and other respiratory diseases,” Alex Mayweg, partner at Versant Ventures, said in a press release.
Capital raised will support the development of potential therapies for respiratory diseases with few treatment options, and marked by mucus buildup affecting lung function, leading to both breathing problems and recurrent infections. These diseases include CF, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and severe asthma.
Enterprise, a U.K. company, is developing disease-modifying therapies that target the underlying mechanisms of mucus congestion to reduce the frequency of lung infections and improve patients’ quality of life.
Its pipeline therapies target the ion channels TMEM16A and ENaC to improve mucus hydration and clearance. Enterprise has also identified targets and compounds that aim to lessen mucus production, and would complement mucus hydration therapies.
“[W]e believe new therapies that target the underlying mechanisms of mucus congestion are essential to reduce the frequency of lung infections and improve patient quality of life,” said John Ford, Enterprise’s chief executive officer.
According to the U.S. nonprofit Cystic Fibrosis Worldwide, between 70,000 and 100,000 people are thought to have CF globally, but difficulties in diagnosing within some countries hamper accurate worldwide estimates.
The global prevalence for COPD, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), was estimated at 251 million people in 2016.
Even more people are thought to have asthma. The most recent global estimate of the Global Asthma Report, in 2014, suggests that as many as 334 million people worldwide have the disease.