Spinout News

EpilepsyGTx announces a $10m fundraise to complete the CTA-enabling nonclinical package for lead programme EPY201

25 June 2024

UCLB spinout EpilepsyGTx, a biotechnology company focused on research and development of cutting-edge gene therapies to treat focal refractory epilepsy, has raised a total of $10m in seed funding. The financing was led by the UCL Technology Fund, with participation from Health Technology Holding.

The funds raised will be used to complete the preclinical studies for EpilepsyGTx’ lead gene therapy program EPY201, and to prepare a groundbreaking first-in-human, Phase 1/2a clinical study with EPY201 in focal refractory epilepsy.

EpilepsyGTx’s mission is to make patients with focal refractory epilepsy seizure-free. It is developing a portfolio of cutting-edge gene therapies which are based on pioneering research from the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology.

Caitriona O’Rourke, UCLB’s Business Manager for EpilepsyGTx, commented: “We have been delighted to support Nicolas and his team on their commercialisation journey, and it’s terrific to see them reach this major funding milestone. We’re excited by the commercial potential of this technology and its possible contribution to improve the lives of people with focal refractory epilepsy.”

“We are thrilled by the strong vote of confidence from our investors in our vision, the world-class science of the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, and the transformative potential of EPY201 in focal refractory epilepsy. Our mission is to make patients with focal refractory epilepsy seizure-free,” added Nicolas Koebel, chief executive officer. “Importantly, this additional financing extends our financial runway into 2025”.

The EpilepsyGTX team.

Simon Goldman, Partner, Albion Capital and EpilepsyGTx Board member, added: “EpilepsyGTx has an unparalleled pipeline of gene therapies discovered by world-renowned scientists of the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. We are delighted to partner with EpilepsyGTx as the company is building a very robust foundation to translate exceptional science into medicines that will transform the management of focal refractory epilepsy.”

Michele Gaiotto, Managing Director at Health Technology Holding, concluded: “We were highly impressed by the scientific strategy of the company and the credentials of the leadership team. The targeted, highly localised delivery of gene therapy makes perfect sense in focal refractory epilepsy. This approach has enormous potential for millions of patients with this disease.”

Focal epilepsy describes a group of disorders in which patients experience seizures that arise from a specific part of the brain. If seizures persist despite trials of at least two tolerated and appropriately chosen antiseizure medicines, epilepsy is deemed ‘refractory’. Focal refractory epilepsy (or FRE) affects an estimated 2 million prevalent patients in the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, combined.

EPY201 is an investigational gene therapy targeting focal refractory epilepsy. EPY201 or AAV9-CAMK2A-EKC uses an AAV9 capsid, an engineered Kv1.1 potassium channel (or “EKC”) and a CAMK2A promoter. EPY201 is delivered directly to the target seizure focus (that is, the part of the brain causing seizures) by intraparenchymal administration.

For more information: www.epilepsygtx.com