Developer of surgically delivered microparticles to brain gets $72.5M in latest funding round

A depiction of Edge's polymer-based microparticle for delivering neurological drugs--Courtesy of Edge Therapeutics

Edge Therapeutics added $56 million to its latest financing round, bringing the total Series C haul to $72.5 million in support of its neurological candidates that overcome the blood-brain barrier through surgical delivery directly to the brain.

Edge's lead candidate (EG-1962) is designed to help patients recover from bleeding around the brain due to a ruptured aneurysm, while EG-1964 is being developed to preventing recurrent bleeding in the brain following head trauma.

Both use Edge's Precisa microparticle platform. The company says that at 70 microns, the microparticles are small enough be to administered via brain catheter, but too large to be carried away from the site of injury by macrophages, a type of white blood cell that engulfs foreign substances in the body.

In addition, the microparticles are coated with a polymer that enables sustained and targeted release.

EG-1962 is a reformulation of oral or intravenously delivered Nimodipine, which is available as a generic drug. Edge says its targeted, one-time dosage of the Nimodipine reduces its side effects, namely hypertension. Similarly, EG-1964 is a reformulation of intravenously delivered aprotinin (marketed as Trasylol by the Nordic Group) that decreases the risk of systematic delivery, such as blood clots outside the target region in the brain.

"Edge remains committed to helping vulnerable patients who have suffered brain hemorrhages," said company CEO Brian Leuthner in a statement. "We greatly appreciate the financial investment from our shareholders which provides resources for EG-1962, earlier stage product candidates and discovery opportunities."

The company will use the financing to finish its Phase I/II trial of the lead candidate and then begin its Phase III trial of the drug in the second half of the year.

The financing was led by Venrock with the participation of Sofinnova Ventures, Janus Capital Management, Franklin Advisors, New Leaf Venture Partners and BioMed Ventures.

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