Galecto Biotech raises €79m to launch idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis trial

Galecto Biotech, a Denmark-based pharma company focused on developing galectin modulators for the treatment of severe diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and cancer, has raised €79 million through a series C financing round co-led by Ysios Capital and OrbiMed.

New investors in Galecto Biotech are Ysios Capital, OrbiMed, HBM Healthcare Investments, Bristol Myers-Squibb, OrbiMed Israel, Seventure Partners and Maverick Ventures. These new investors join the existing investors Novo Seeds, M Ventures, and Sunstone Capital in the series C financing round.

Galecto Biotech plans to use the new capital to carry out a phase 2/3 clinical trial of inhaled TD139, a selective inhibitor of galectin-3, in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The new capital will also be utilized for undertaking clinical trials with additional oral and ocular Gal-3 inhibitor drugs.

The global, multi-center phase 2/3 clinical trial for the potential drug for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis will be held across Europe and North America having secured positive data from the phase 1/2a clinical trials of TD139.

Galecto Biotech raises €79m to advance idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis trial
Galecto Biotech raises €79m to advance idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis trial. Photo courtesy of
Daino_16/Freeimages.com.

Hans Schambye – CEO of Galecto Biotech, said: “The closing of this €79 million financing is a significant milestone for Galecto as it allows us to quickly take TD139 into the phase 2/3 study, the design for which has been agreed with the FDA and MHRA. The financing will also enable clinical studies for two additional programs, which are based on galectin modulators optimised for dosing in fibrotic diseases of other organs, such as the liver and eye.

“We welcome and thank our new and existing investors for their commitment to advancing our galectin modulator products to late-stage clinical development.”

According to Galecto Biotech, TD139 has been formulated for inhalation to facilitate direct targeting of the fibrotic tissue in the lungs, while reducing systemic exposure. In its phase 1/2 proof of concept study in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the investigational idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis drug was found to be safe, well tolerated, while showing direct target engagement with macrophages, the main cellular target in fibrotic disease.

TD139 was developed initially by a team of scientists from Sweden-based Lund University and the UK-based Edinburgh University.

Karen Wagner – General Partner of Ysios Capital, on the investment in Galecto Biotech, said: “Galecto is the clear leader in the field of galectin inhibitor development. The data generated to date suggests that Galecto’s TD139 has a highly competitive profile in IPF due to its good safety profile and inhaled dosing, providing a clear path to market.

Chau Khuong, a partner at OrbiMed, said: “We were attracted to Galecto by the excellent science, great promise for its lead inhaled product in IPF as well as the galectin inhibitor technology platform, which is generating multiple drug candidates.”

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