Apellis Pharmaceuticals Raises $33M to Fund its Complement Immunotherapy Programs
LOUISVILLE Ky. Dec. 2 2014 /PRNewswire/ — 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.