MALVERN, PA – February 3, 2016 – Galera Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotech developing new treatments for cancer patients, announced today it has received an additional $5 million in funding from Enso Ventures to bring its Series B financing total to $42 million. Enso Ventures joins existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Novartis Venture Fund, Novo Ventures, Correlation Ventures and Galera Angels.
The investment capital will be used to advance the Company’s lead candidate GC4419 in a Phase 2b double-blind, randomized clinical trial that is currently enrolling head and neck cancer patients receiving chemoradiation therapy to prevent against oral mucositis (OM). The proceeds will also support continued development of Galera’s pipeline of selective dismutase mimetics to modulate oxygen metabolic pathways.
“We are delighted to have Enso Ventures join us,” said J. Mel Sorensen, MD, President and CEO of Galera. “As we recently announced, our product lead GC4419, which is in randomized Phase 2b clinical development, was granted Fast Track designation for the prevention of radiation-related oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer. With Enso’s support, we will further expand the development of our dismutase mimetic portfolio.”
“Galera’s clinical data with GC4419 in OM and the unmet need for these patients, combined with the strong management and investors really drove our interest,” said Sergei Petukhov, PhD, Partner at Enso Ventures. “We are excited to join our fellow investors in advancing this important product, and Galera’s broader efforts.”
About Oral Mucositis (OM)
OM is a common debilitating side effect of radiation treatment in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. Severe OM, defined by the World Health Organization as Grade 3 or 4 OM, occurs in 60 to 80 percent of HNC patients who receive radiation therapy. Importantly, severe OM may result in interruptions in radiation treatment, which can compromise the otherwise good prognosis for tumor control in many of these patients. In addition, patients suffer significant pain, may develop serious infections, and may be unable to eat solid food or even drink liquids. Further, the costs of managing these side effects are substantial, particularly when hospitalization and/or surgical placement of PEG tubes to maintain nutrition and hydration is required. There is currently no drug approved to prevent or treat severe OM in head and neck cancer patients.
About Galera Therapeutics, Inc.
Galera Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company, headquartered in Malvern, PA, focused on the development of breakthrough drugs targeting oxygen metabolic pathways. The Company’s lead compounds are highly selective small molecule dismutase mimetics that closely mimic the activity of the human superoxide dismutase enzymes. While the biology of the superoxide dismutase family suggests a broad range of potential applications, Galera is initially focusing its development on the prevention of radiation-induced toxicity, including mucositis, and the treatment of cancer. For more information, visit www.galeratx.com.
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