SparingVision Raises €44.5 Million and Appoints Stéphane Boissel as Chief Executive Officer
New investors include 4BIO Capital, UPMC Enterprises, Jeito Capital and Ysios Capital
Paris, October 21, 2020 – SparingVision (“the Company”), a genomic medicine company focused on ocular diseases, today announces a €44.5 million financing round. The round was led by 4BIO Capital (“4BIO”) and UPMC Enterprises, and included Jeito Capital (“Jeito”) and Ysios Capital (“Ysios”). In addition, current investors Bpifrance and Foundation Fighting Blindness (“FFB”) participated in the round.
Proceeds from the financing will be primarily used to advance the development of SparingVision’s breakthrough treatment SPVN06 for the mutation-agnostic treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (“RP”). Most notably the funding will support SparingVision’s GMP activities (including the manufacturing of a first clinical batch of the product, currently ongoing), the IND/CTA regulatory activities and the conduct of a first-in-man study, scheduled to start in 2021. The Company also intends to further expand its management team and commence operations in the US.
SPVN06 is a proprietary, mutation-agnostic, AAV gene therapy consisting of one neurotrophic factor and one oxidative stress reducing enzyme which, acting synergistically, aim to slow or stop the degeneration of photoreceptors. Loss of photoreceptors leads to blindness in RP, one of the most common inherited retinal diseases that affects two million patients worldwide. There is currently no treatment approved for RP patients independently of their genetic background.
Torreya Capital, LLC served as exclusive placement agent for the offering. SparingVision also announces today that the Company’s Chairman of the Board, Stéphane Boissel, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
Stéphane Boissel, SparingVision’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are delighted to have closed this financing round, which demonstrates the excitement around SparingVision’s lead compound, SPVN06. With its singular mutation-agnostic approach, SPVN06 could have a much broader commercial potential than most gene therapy products for RP currently in development and will be used as an anchor to build an economically-viable portfolio of therapies in the field of ophthalmology. Our shareholders, both new and existing, are all long-term, strategic and patient-centric investors that share our vision and we are excited to be working with them to achieve our goals.”
Before joining SparingVision as President and CEO, Stéphane Boissel was Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy at Sangamo Therapeutics (“Sangamo”), a Nasdaq-listed gene-editing company based in San Francisco, California. Prior to Sangamo, he was CEO of TxCell, the first ever CAR-TReg company, that was sold to Sangamo in 2018. Prior to TxCell, Stéphane served as CEO of Genclis, a molecular diagnostic company, and EVP and CFO of Innate Pharma, a Nasdaq-listed company, and Transgene.
Stéphane has also been a Board member of several leading biotechnology companies, including Nasdaqlisted Erytech Pharma and Elsalys Biotech, where he served as Chairman. Earlier in his career, Stéphane worked in investment banking for Lazard, where he focused on principal investment in France, Singapore and Hong Kong. He started his career at PWC. Stéphane graduated in management and finance from the IAE Lyon, University of Lyon and PSL Paris-Dauphine University (France) and received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Dr. José-Alain Sahel, Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Director of the Institut de la Vision (Sorbonne Universite, Inserm, CNRS, Paris) and co-founder of SparingVision along with Dr. Thierry Léveillard, added, “SparingVision’s neuroprotective approach, which I started working on some 20 years ago at Institut de la Vision, has all the attributes of a winning gene therapy solution for retinitis pigmentosa patients in desperate need of a universal therapeutic option. I am looking forward to helping Stéphane and the team best position SPVN06 for clinical development up to regulatory licensing.”
The Board of Directors of SparingVision expresses its deepest gratitude to Florence Allouche, co-founder, who is leaving her position as President of the Company, for her hard work and support over the years which has enabled the Company to pass many milestones and successfully refinance itself.
Consilium Strategic Communications
Amber Fennell, Olivia Manser, Lizzie Seeley
+44 (0)20 3709 5700