GeneQuine Biotherapeutics recently announced a Series A financing round of 5.4 million euros and the acquisition of convertible loans and funding of 3.65 million euros: The Hamburg-based start-up, which develops gene therapy drugs for the treatment of musculoskeletal diseases, intends to use the funds to further develop its lead candidate GQ-303 for the treatment of osteoarthritis to the stage of a phase 1 clinical trial.
“We are particularly pleased to have Pacira BioSciences as an investor with their great expertise in clinical drug development in the musculoskeletal field,” says a satisfied GeneQuine CEO Kilian Guse. The American pharmaceutical company, which focuses on pain management and regenerative medicine, is leading the Series A financing round. Also participating are High-Tech Gründerfonds and Noshaq SA. Pacira Biosciences, Inc. and Samum Vermögensverwaltungs GmbH are also providing convertible loans of 2.75 million euros. A further 900,000 euros will come in the form of funding from the Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg.
Michael Westhagemann, Hamburg’s Senator for Economics and Innovation, saw himself confirmed: “We are very pleased with the success of GeneQuine Biotherapeutics in the new financing round, also because it shows that our Innovation Starter Fund at the IFB investment and development bank helps important companies and their great ideas to break through with its right investment decisions.” The start-up is a success story, also on an international scale, says Westhagemann. Already last year, the company expanded its workforce and established a subsidiary in Liège, Belgium. GeneQuine has its headquarters in the Startup Port in Hamburg-Harburg and has been supported there in the meantime by Startup Dock. There is also a research and development laboratory in Luckenwalde (Greater Berlin).
GeneQuine develops gene therapy-based drugs for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The goal is to develop gene therapy-based drugs for the treatment of osteoarthritis in humans. GeneQuine’s former lead candidate for the treatment of osteoarthritis, which is based on the same gene therapy vector technology as GQ-303, was sold in 2017 to the pharmaceutical company Flexion Therapeutics, Inc. (Burlington, USA) in 2017 and is currently being tested in a phase 1 clinical trial.
As veterinary drug development is also an attractive area based on lower regulatory requirements, product development risk and development costs, as well as significantly shorter development times compared to the human sector, GeneQuine is also developing drugs for horses and dogs.