Germany-based gene therapy firm ViGeneron has announced the closing of its series A financing round led by WuXi AppTec and Sequoia Capital China.

ViGeneron intends to use the proceeds to speed up its viral vector-based gene therapy platform and enhance product development in two of its principal ophthalmic gene therapy programs.

ViGeneron co-founder and CEO Caroline Man Xu said: “The evolution of medicines from small molecules to proteins has driven increased therapeutic benefits in the past; the next generation of gene therapies holds tremendous promise for patients. We are passionate about bringing innovations to patients.

“This financing is an important validation of our next-generation gene therapy technology platforms and ophthalmic development programs. With these top-tier investors and a strong ophthalmologic network supporting us, we are now in an excellent position to accelerate our development programs.”

ViGeneron develops vgAAV, and REVeRT vector platforms

Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) spin-off ViGeneron is engaged in developing advanced gene therapies for treating ophthalmic diseases with an unmet medical need.

The company said that it has two original next-generation gene therapy platforms are aimed at addressing the limitations of existing adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies.

Its vgAAV vector platform, based on unique engineered AAV capsids, allows  a superior transduction of target cells and efficiently crosses biological barriers.

In addition, the vgAAV vectors target a wide range of cell types in the retina and possibly other tissues including central nervous system tissue, to facilitate administration of intravitreal, minimally invasive treatment.

Furthermore, the company has developed REVeRT vector platform for larger genes (greater than 5Kb), which uses a new vector approach to pack split genes into individual vgAAV vectors and produce a full-length protein through mRNA trans-splicing.

WuXi AppTec is a biopharmaceutical and medical device company that offers a broad portfolio of R&D and manufacturing services to advance discoveries and deliver groundbreaking treatments to patients.

Sequoia Capital is a US-based venture capital firm focused on investing in TMT, healthcare, consumer/serive, and industrial technology companies.