Business Concept alumni, HAYA Therapeutics closes CHF 18 million seed round
Alumni of the Innosuisse Business Concept spring 2017 in Lausanne, Samir Ounzain, CEO and cofounder of HAYA said: “With the support of our world-class investor syndicate and this seed financing round, we are excited to accelerate our development efforts and look forward to bringing this new solution to patients suffering from fibrosis and other chronic age-related diseases.”
Founded and led by a team of experts in lncRNA biology and fibrotic disease HAYA Therapeutics is developing precision medicines that target tissue and cell-specific long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). The startup has raised CHF 18 million in its seed financing round led by Broadview Ventures.
Along side Broadview Ventures, HAYA Therapeutics’ seed round attracted additional investors including Apollo Health Ventures, BERNINA BioInvest, 4See Ventures, Schroder Adveq and Viva BioInnovator. The startup will use the funds from the financing to advance the discovery and development of innovative organ and cell-selective therapeutics that target lncRNAs to treat and potentially reverse fibrosis and other serious medical conditions related to aging.
HAYA Therapeutics is a precision therapeutics company that discovers and develops innovative tissueand cell-selective genomic medicines for fibrotic diseases and other serious health conditions associated with aging, including cancer. Its proprietary DiscoverHAYA drug discovery engine enables it to generate a pipeline of lncRNA targeting anti-fibrotics for many tissues, including lung, kidney, liver and the tumor microenvironment.
Lead candidate against heart failure HAYA's lead development candidate (HTX-001) is a modified antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) targeting the lncRNA Wisper, a cardiac myofibroblast enriched driver of fibrosis. Preclinical assessment has demonstrated the ability of HTX-001 to halt and potentially reverse the fibrotic processes underlying heart failure. HAYA is preparing to initiate clinical trials with its Wisper targeting candidate in non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an orphan indication with limited treatment options. The company secured an exclusive license from CHUV for the Wisper asset.
“HAYA was founded to address the major burden of fibrotic diseases and has made tremendous progress over the last several years deciphering the roles of lncRNAs, a new class of regulatory molecules derived from the ‘dark matter’ of the human genome,” said Samir Ounzain, Co-founder and CEO of HAYA Therapeutics. “With the support of our world-class investor syndicate and this seed financing round, we are excited to accelerate our development efforts and look forward to bringing this new solution to patients suffering from fibrosis and other chronic age-related diseases.” New board members In line with the financing round, HAYA announced that Robert Williamson will join the company as Executive Chair to the Board of Directors. Additionally, Jens Eckstein, Managing Partner at Apollo Health Ventures, and Benjamin Kreitman of Broadview Ventures will join HAYA’s board. Ounzain and Daniel Blessing, Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer of HAYA Therapeutics, are also board members.