Funding

[Funding alert] Paris-based PulseSight Therapeutics Secures an Undisclosed Amount in Seed Funding

Feb 28, 2024 | By Startup Rise EU

Paris-based PulseSight Therapeutics secures an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Pureos Bioventures and ND Capital.

Paris-based PulseSight Therapeutics secures an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Pureos Bioventures and ND Capital.

It is poised to clinically validate its highly innovative delivery platform by advancing two first-in-class late-stage preclinical drugs for wet and dry age-related macular diseases (AMD) including geographic atrophy (GA), major diseases of the elderly leading to blindness.

PulseSight’s proprietary non-viral gene therapy ocular platform uses an electro-transfection system to deliver DNA plasmids encoding therapeutic proteins into the ciliary muscle to treat major eye diseases.

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The technology has already been validated in a first Phase I/II clinical study, demonstrating a good safety profile of both the plasmid and the delivery system, as well as a long-lasting clinical benefit up to eight months (in patients with chronic noninfectious uveitis).

Current treatments for wet AMD all belong to the same class of drugs that target vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and act primarily on the neovessels to reduce vascular leakage, with a limited efficacy over time leading to the need for frequent reinjections.

Wet AMD is a complex disease involving many pathological pathways which lead to progressive vision loss and there remains a significant unmet need.

The company’s lead program, PST-809 is a potential first-in-class therapy for wet AMD that comprises a dual-gene plasmid encoding for a potent anti-VEGF, aflibercept, together with decorin, an anti-angiogenic and anti-fibrotic native protein that reduces choroidal neovascularization (CNV), vascular leakage, and subretinal fibrosis preventing the epithelial mesenchymal transition of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells or even favoring RPE healing.

The second program, PST-611 for geographic atrophy (GA), in late-stage dry AMD uses the same disruptive delivery technology with a plasmid that encodes the human transferrin protein, a natural iron transporter involved in the control of iron levels in the eye.

PST-611 holds the potential to effectively address many of complex pathophysiological pathways involved in GA/dry AMD whilst also benefiting from the need for re-treatment only every six months.

The company has been financed with seed investment from leading venture capital investors that both bring significant experience in ophthalmology, with Dominik Escher, PhD, founding partner of Pureos Bioventures and Kostas Kaloulis, PhD, Venture Partner at ND Capital joining the board.

Read also - London-based KLIQ Secures €1.4 Million in Pre-Seed Funding

Dirk Sauer, previously Head of Ophthalmology at Novartis, has joined the board as independent chair. During his 30+ years at Novartis, he held various positions of increasing responsibilities within preclinical and clinical research as well as project management.

Between 2011 and 2021 he led the company’s Ophthalmology Development Department and, during that time, was responsible for a development portfolio across back and front of the eye indications, including Lucentis.

As a successful entrepreneur, Dominik Escher led the development of multiple clinically successful products during his time as CEO of ESBATech prior to its sale to Alcon (Novartis), including for Brolucizumab as a treatment for AMD. Kostas Kaloulis was co-founder and CEO of Arctos Medical, a pioneering gene therapy company addressing blindness, later acquired by Novartis.

Dominik Escher, board director of PulseSight and Partner at Pureos Bioventures said, “Pureos is delighted to partner with ND Capital to launch PulseSight, a company with technology and programs that has the potential to be truly life-changing for patients with diseases leading to sight loss. We have assembled a highly experienced and motivated team, and I welcome Judith who joins as CEO and Dirk as Chairman of the Board. We have all the ingredients to ensure that PulseSight becomes a highly valuable company in the field of non-viral gene therapy in ophthalmology.”

Judith Greciet, CEO of PulseSight Therapeutics said, “I am excited to join the company with a validated and highly differentiating delivery platform and two non-viral gene therapy programs at late preclinical stage. Our proprietary non-viral gene therapy approach provides unique features in terms of efficacy, safety and durability of effect and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with PulseSight Therapeutics’ highly experienced team and board to build the company’s future.”

Chairman of PulseSight Therapeutics, Dirk Sauer said, “Whilst pharma has embraced the potential of gene therapy in ophthalmology, there remains an unaddressed need for non-viral approaches that would unlock the full potential of gene therapies. I am encouraged by the data behind PulseSight’s approach and its therapies, and I look forward to working with the board and the team to validate its disruptive potential through clinical studies.”

Alongside Pureos Bioventures and ND Capital, Korea Investment Partners (KIP) has joined the seed financing round, with its Joon Hyun as an observer on the board. PulseSight is currently raising a Series A financing round to advance its programs into clinical proof-of-concept.

About PulseSight Therapeutics

PulseSight is an ophthalmology drug development company developing disruptive non-viral gene therapies with minimally-invasive delivery technology designed to address the unmet need for treatments against severe retinal diseases leading to blindness, with a focus on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) including wet AMD and geographic atrophy (GA) in late-stage dry AMD.

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