Veralox Therapeutics, a preclinical stage company focused on accelerating the development of first-in-class therapeutics for unmet medical needs, has raised a $5.4 million seed funding round.
The funding was led by the JDRF T1D Fund, Sanofi Ventures, and the VTC Innovation and VTC Seed Fund, with participation from the Maryland Momentum Fund, the University of Vermont Health Network and TEDCO.
Veralox is headquartered in Maryland and founded in 2017 by Drs. Jeffrey Strovel, David Maloney, and Matthew Boxer, three industry veterans with a track record of successful drug discovery and development. The company is currently developing therapeutics targeting 12-lipoxygenase (12-LOX). The new funding will be used to support the pre-clinical development of therapeutics to block the 12-LOX enzyme for several indications, including the rare hematological indication heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (HITT) and type 1 diabetes (T1D). Veralox’s lead candidate, VLX-1005, was discovered and developed in collaboration with University of California Santa Cruz, Thomas Jefferson University, NIH, and Eastern Virginia Medical School.
“We are excited to fuel our mission to advance the development of therapeutics for immune-mediated disorders such as HITT and T1D,” said Jeffrey Strovel, CEO of Veralox Therapeutics. “With the support of the T1D Fund, Sanofi Ventures, and our other investors, we are well positioned to broaden the potential indications for our technology while ensuring sufficient capital to prepare for clinical studies in patients.”
“Beta cell therapies are a key strategic area of focus for the T1D Fund and we believe Veralox’s innovative approach to inhibiting beta cell stress has the potential to create a first-in-class drug targeting a novel pathway to address type 1 diabetes,” said Katie Ellias, Managing Director at the JDRF T1D Fund. “JDRF was an early supporter of work on this pathway, and we look forward to supporting the company and collaborating with Sanofi and the other investors to accelerate the development of this promising therapy.”
“Veralox fits within our strategic investing mandate and we are excited by the potential for 12-LOX inhibition in both T1D and HITT. We see the potential to impact patients across the globe in these diseases with high morbidity and mortality,” said Daniel Mansuri from Sanofi Ventures.
Both Daniel Mansuri and Katie Ellias will join the Board of Directors.
Veralox is pioneering the development of inhibitors of 12-LOX, which plays key a role in platelet activation and mediation of cellular stress signaling. Halting the immune driven activation of platelets reduces blood clot formation, offering the promise of an orphan hematological indication for the immune-mediated coagulation disorder known as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (HITT). In T1D, beta cell stress leads to cell dysfunction and death. By keeping beta cells healthy and functional, Veralox’s inhibitor may halt T1D disease progression and has the potential to be used at all stages of the disease.
Source: Company Press Release