Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading biotechnology company applying immunotherapy to autoimmune disease, today announced that it has completed a $33M private placement of its Series C Preferred Stock. The financing was led by Morningside Ventures and AJU IB Investment Co., Ltd. with Epidarex Ventures participating with follow-on funding. The proceeds will be used to fund three new complement immunotherapy programs entering clinical proof-of-concept stage.
The first indication is paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare disease of the bone marrow. Apellis' drug candidate APL-2, an inhibitor of complement component C3, is designed to provide PNH patients with an alternative to the current standard-of-care. In its second program, Apellis is testing whether APL-1, another inhibitor of complement component C3, can affect the underlying disease mechanism in COPD and slow down disease progression. Finally, Apellis' third program aims to reduce the growth of retinal lesions through the intravitreal injection of APL-2 in patients suffering from geographic atrophy, the advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), for which no treatments exist. All three complement immunotherapy programs focus on the potential of complement inhibition to correct pathogenic Th17 immune responses.
Cedric Francois, MD, PhD and CEO of Apellis commented "We are excited to test the immense potential of complement immunotherapy. Our clinical programs are designed to be implemented in short periods of development, with a robust regulatory strategy, innovative clinical designs and product profiles that could change the lives of millions of patients affected by auto-immunity." Apellis Chairman Gerald Chan, co-founder of Morningside, added, "Morningside was an early investor in cancer immunotherapy. Auto-immune conditions are the next frontier for immunotherapy. Rather than suppressing the immune system we should aim to correct its inappropriate behavior."
Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.