Exicure has raised $11.2M in cash to move forward with its oligonucleotides treatments. The most recent raise shows Exicure expanding out beyond tech investors that funded its round to help lock in cash to move deeper into clinical.
Luye Pharma spearheaded the round with support from other groups such as Knoll Capital Management, Purple Arch Ventures, and Investment Investments. The new investors are joining along side of Bill Gate’s venture capital firm, and others to the list of Exicure’s investors.
The key competitive advantage of Exicure’s SNA’s from additional gene regulatory techniques is their potential to cross biological obstacles when administered locally. SNAs, tightly-packed constructs of synthetic nucleic acids, make this crossing without encapsulation or complexation, creating an opportunity of safely treating diseases without touching the liver.
Exicure is beginning to generate clinical data to endorse its approach. Lead treatment AST-005 came through a phase 1 trial in patients with moderate psoriasis without triggering any alarms. Purdue bagged an option on the TNF-targeting candidate late 2016 as part of a deal that included an a payment of $10 million development fee upfront and up to $770 million more in the future.
Researchers are currently testing higher concentrations of AST-005 to evaluate the effect on TNF mRNA and downstream mRNA expression.
Exicure will be filling in for Purdue during that trial. The SNA expert is also getting ready to begin testing XCUR17 and AST-008 in humans. The company believes XCUR17 can enhance results in patients with moderate psoriasis by trimming levels of 1L-17RA.
The $11.2 million financing comes on the heels of Exicure previously raised $20.1 million, giving it the ability to advance the programs into the clinic. Exicure brought in the bigger of the two tranches of money in September, when it also nabbed an OTC listing through a reverse merger. Instead of merging with a failed firm, Exicure take over an entity set up with the goal of collaborating with an operating company.