Ethris continues research on mRNA therapeutics with fresh USD 26.3m - including against SARS-CoV-2

Ethris RNA Therapeutika

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Planegg-based biotechnology company Ethris has raised $26.3 million (€23.3 million) in a Series B funding round led by Laureus Capital. Ethris plans to use the money to further develop its mRNA therapeutics and proprietary platform, and to expand the company's production capacity.

Ethris has been researching mRNA as therapeutics for more than 10 years, using its proprietary and technology platforms to develop therapies for various respiratory diseases with high unmet medical needs.

Proceeds from the current financing will now be used primarily to investigate the company's two lead programs in clinical trials:

ETH47 for influenza and SARS-CoV-2

The company's ETH47 therapy candidate contains the mRNA blueprint for the type III interferon IFN-λ, which can be administered as a nasal spray directly into the respiratory tract. It locally activates the innate immune system at the virus entry site and acts broadly against respiratory viruses. Recent preclinical results showed a reduction in viral load and an increase in survival time in in vivo models of influenza and SARS-CoV-2.

Ethris had already received funding for the development of the ETH47 immunomodulator from the Bavarian government in 2021 as part of BayTherapie 2020 to support therapeutics development against SARS-CoV-2.

In autumn 2021, Ethris - along with Formycon and Pieris - also received the "Pharma Trend - Image & Innovation Award" for "The Most Innovative Product" in the category of Leap Innovations.

Protein replacement therapy for primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD)

ETH42 is a protein replacement therapy for primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). PCD is a rare congenital disease due to structural defects or absence of the cilia that line our airways. In Germany, about 4000 patients suffer from it. The lack of mobility of the cilia leads to an inability to adequately clear the airways, which can often lead to permanent lung damage.

"The completion of this Series B funding represents an important milestone for Ethris and validates the potential of our proprietary mRNA and LNP delivery platforms and the team of experts we have built," said Dr. Carsten Rudolph, CEO of Ethris. "The capital provided by Laureus will enable us to accelerate our promising therapeutic programs into the clinic and capitalize on the tremendous opportunities our technology platforms offer to deliver life-changing medicines to patients worldwide.

In addition to fresh capital, the financing also brings a personnel expansion, with Dr. Christian Wawrzinek, founder of Hamburg-based Laureus Capital, joining the management team as Managing Director and Chief Corporate Strategy Officer. He will assist Ethris with a range of activities, including corporate strategy, operational planning and long-term growth opportunities. According to Wawrzinek, Ethris is in a strong position to provide "gamechanger" therapeutics to large groups of affected patients worldwide. He also said he is "excited to join Ethris on this journey to bring its programs to the clinic and ultimately improve the lives of those affected, and I look forward to helping the leadership team execute its strategies."