1 February 2021
Blueberry Therapeutics announces extension of its Series B round with investment from Medical Incubator Japan and US Dermatology Syndicate
Blueberry Therapeutics Limited would like to announce that it has completed a £3.6m extension to the previously successful Series B Fundraising of £10.8m. This investment is from a Japanese investor, Medical Incubator Japan (MIJ) and a private syndicate of US Board Certified Dermatologists led by Dr Omar Ibrahimi of Stamford, CT. Blueberry Therapeutics is a dermatology-focused drug discovery and development company focused on developing innovative nanomedicines for difficult to treat diseases of the skin and nail, with a lead candidate in Phase II development.
The fundraise is partly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected clinical trials globally, but primarily because of a series of pre-clinical successes during 2020, which have broadened the company’s drug portfolio. Blueberry Therapeutics will use the Series B extension proceeds to continue its development programme for BB2603 for the treatment of onychomycosis, and additional funding will be used to advance other programmes, including in tinea pedis, where there are encouraging efficacy and safety data, and a potentially efficient route to market.
BB2603 is Blueberry Therapeutics lead development drug candidate; after completing a Phase I/II study in 2018, this is now in Phase II clinical development. Using nanotechnology, BB2603 is designed to greatly enhance delivery of terbinafine to target fungal infection under the nail and within the upper layers of the skin. In onychomycosis, BB2603 aims to achieve equivalent efficacy and treatment duration but at a dose which is several thousand-fold lower than approved for oral terbinafine, thereby avoiding the systemic side effects and patient monitoring requirements of oral administration. The additional funding supports completion of the Phase II dose-finding study, ahead of Phase III clinical development in the US and EU for the treatment of onychomycosis.
Medical Incubator Japan is an independent healthcare-focused venture capital company aimed at investing in early-stage life sciences companies across a broad range of innovations including drug discovery, digital health and medical devices. Its second fund launched in the summer of 2020, focusing on investments both in Japan and overseas. Through its partnership with Bamburgh Capital, MIJ is particularly focused on identifying investment opportunities in the UK, where MIJ is attracted by the compelling opportunities to invest in innovative companies opening up world-class science and supported by collaborative, informed and influential ecosystems. Japan is the third largest healthcare market in the world and MIJ will be able to help Blueberry Therapeutics access this important market.
Mr. Jun Katsura, President and Co-CEO of MIJ, commented: “We are very pleased to be a shareholder in Blueberry Therapeutics and to be able to support the management team in its quest to deliver high value innovative medicines for patients suffering from a range of dermatological disorders, and we look forward to collaborating in the development of the Company’s products.”
Dr Omar Ibrahimi, Founding Medical Director at the Connecticut Skin Institute commented: “The team and I were impressed with the Blueberry approach and felt that the Blueberry technology was compelling enough to invest our own money in developing it further. BB2603 addresses a clinical problem that we have struggled to treat effectively for decades.”
Dr. John Ridden, Chief Executive Officer of Blueberry Therapeutics said: “I am delighted to have MIJ, and Omar and syndicate as investors and I very much look forward to working with them on our plans for Japan and the US. This funding extension not only enables us to progress our main onychomycosis programme to the next stages of development, but it also enhances our relationships in the critically important Japanese and US markets”