Swiss biotech company GeNeuro secures €5M to accelerate post-COVID treatment trials

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Geneva-based GeNeuro, a biopharmaceutical company, announced on Friday, February 2nd, that it successfully raised €5M in capital through a combination of methods. 

It included a private placement, where 4,666,901 new ordinary bearer shares of GeNeuro were issued to specialised or strategic investors, with the cancellation of preferential subscription rights. 

Additionally, GeNeuro conducted a public offering for retail investors in France through the PrimaryBid platform, issuing 95,004 new ordinary bearer shares. 

“The successful completion of this capital increase provides GeNeuro with the means to complete the ongoing Phase 2 trial in Post-COVID, for which patient recruitment was finalised in November last year and where we expect results in June 2024, and to extend the Company’s runway. Our ongoing postCOVID program with temelimab is the first personalised therapeutic approach in this indication, as the study has only enrolled patients who are positive for the pathogenic W-ENV protein”, says Jesús MartinGarcia, CEO of GeNeuro. 

“36 per cent of the patients presenting severe long-COVID syndromes who were screened to participate in the trial were positive for the presence of W-ENV in their blood. The success of this study would be a game changer as the first disease-modifying therapy for a large population of post-COVID patients,” adds MartinGarcia.  

Issues “New Shares” at 16% discount

These newly issued shares, each with a par value of CHF 0.05, are collectively called the “New Shares.”

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The New Shares have been offered for €1.05 each, including nominal value and issue premium.

The Subscription Price of €1.05 per New Share represents a discount of 16.7 per cent on the closing market price of the Company’s shares on Euronext Paris on January 31, 2024.

As part of the Private Placement, GNEH SAS, a subsidiary of Institut Mérieux and Servier, both existing shareholders of GeNeuro, have individually subscribed to 2,087,451 and 1,135,070 New Shares, respectively, with cash investments. 

By relevant Swiss laws and regulations, the GNEH representative abstained from voting on matters related to the Offering while serving on the Company’s Board of Directors.

Consequently, post-offering, GNEH will hold 40.2 per cent of the company’s share capital and 40.5 per cent of its voting rights on a non-diluted basis, while Servier will possess 8.4 per cent of the share capital and 8.5 per cent of the voting rights on a non-diluted basis.

Fund utilisation

The proceeds from the Offering, along with the Company’s current cash reserves, are primarily intended to finalise financing for the ongoing Phase 2 trial in Post-COVID, with anticipated results slated for June 2024, and to extend the company’s financial runway into the early third quarter of 2024. 

Additionally, these funds will support the company’s general corporate requirements. 

GeNeuro anticipates settlement and delivery of the New Shares on February 7, 2024, with immediate dividend and voting rights, listed on the regulated market of Euronext Paris.

Currently, GeNeuro is engaged in discussions within the multiple sclerosis area with potential partners to define the best development path for combining an effective anti-inflammatory treatment, to treat relapses, with temelimab, to address neurodegeneration and disability progression.

GeNeuro: Tackling neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases

GeNeuro is a clinical-stage company dedicated to developing safe and effective solutions for halting the progression of disability caused by autoimmune diseases, beginning with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The company utilises the growing understanding of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs), which are traces in the genome of viral infections that affected our ancestors, and today represent over 8 per cent of the total human DNA. 

GeNeuro is currently testing temelimab, a monoclonal antibody targeting a protein called HERV-W Env. 

This protein is found in the brains of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and has been shown to contribute to the mechanisms behind the progression of brain damage and disability. 

Temelimab has been tested on over 200 patients for two years and has shown a consistent positive impact across all key MRI markers associated with disease progression. 

Additionally, it has been successfully tested at the Karolinska Institutet’s Academic Specialist Center in Stockholm on a group of patients experiencing disability progression without relapses, while also receiving an effective anti-inflammatory treatment. 

Additionally, GeNeuro is currently conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial to find a potential therapeutic solution for neuropsychiatric syndromes caused by Long-COVID. 

This trial is the first of its kind and uses biomarkers to evaluate the effectiveness of temelimab as a disease-modifying therapy for Long-COVID patients suffering from severe neurological and psychiatric symptoms. 

The trial has received financial support from Swiss and European authorities and aims to address a major public health issue affecting millions of patients. 

The study will focus on patients who are positive for the pathogenic W-ENV protein in their blood. The results of the trial are expected to be available in Q2 2024.

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Vigneshwar Ravichandran

Vigneshwar has been a News Reporter at Silicon Canals since 2018. A seasoned technology journalist with almost a decade of experience, he covers the European startup ecosystem, from AI and Web3 to clean energy and health tech. Previously, he was a content producer and consumer product reviewer for leading Indian digital media, including NDTV, GizBot, and FoneArena. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Instrumentation in Chennai and a Diploma in Broadcasting Journalism in New Delhi.

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