Fortuna Fix Inc. has raised US $25 million in Series B funding from Amgen Ventures, Macnguyen Family Office, Salamander Invest, and other investors.
In conjunction with the investment by Amgen Ventures, Dr. John Dunlop (Ph.D), Amgen Vice President, Neuroscience Discovery Research, and Philip Tagari, Amgen Vice President, Therapeutic Discovery, will take the roles of Scientific Advisory Board member and Board observer at Fortuna, respectively.
Laval, Quebec based Fortuna is a private, clinical-stage Regenerative Medicine company, aiming to be the first to bring to the clinic a patient’s own neural stem cells (autologous) produced by direct reprogramming (drNPCs) to replace lost neuronal tissue in neurodegeneration and neurotrauma.
Fortuna intends to use new funding to conduct Phase I/IIa clinical trials in Parkinson’s Disease and Spinal Cord Injury.
In addition to clinical development, the financing will enable further expansion of Fortuna’s automated robotic manufacturing capabilities.
“We are excited to welcome Amgen Ventures and our other investors to Fortuna and I would like to thank them for their strong support for the development of our ethical cell therapies and for their help in bringing our novel regenerative medicine solutions to patients suffering from neurotrauma and neurodegeneration,” says Jan-Eric Ahlfors, CEO and CSO of Fortuna. “With Fortuna’s technology platform, there finally exists a tremendous opportunity to deliver autologous drNPCs that can readily replace lost neurons, do not require immune suppression, are ethically sourced, efficacious and address some of the largest unmet medical needs by fixing the underlying pathology of cell loss to enable restoration of functionality in patients.”
Fortuna’s autologous drNPCs are expected to help regenerate neural tissue with the following major benefits to patients:
- For the first time, patients suffering from neurotrauma or neurodegeneration will be able to be treated with their own neural stem cells providing functional integration without immunosuppression or ethical issues (the technology uses no fetal, embryonic-like, or other ethically challenging processes).
- The manufacturing of autologous drNPCs is accomplished with a rapid, high throughput, and fully automated process, which does not involve genetic engineering, animal components, or staged pluripotency.
Fortuna’s second neuro-regenerative technology platform – Regeneration Matrix (RMx™) – will be developed as an off-the-shelf product to be used in acute settings to support regeneration and prevent secondary damage after neurotrauma. RMx™ is a unique and highly efficient bio-scaffold that promotes neural tissue regrowth that can also be used in combination with the drNPCs to help with grafting.
“This investment in Fortuna represents Amgen’s first foray into cellular regenerative research and underscores our commitment to advancing novel neuroscience research for serious brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s,” said Philip Tagari, Amgen Vice President, Therapeutic Discovery. “Regenerative medicine is one of the most exciting fields of healthcare today, and we are delighted to participate in the advancement of these innovative solutions for patients suffering from severe neurodegenerative diseases and neurotrauma.”
Salamander Invest is a single purpose investment company established by Norwegian family offices and institutional investors to support the clinical development and commercialization of Fortuna’s technology platforms for neuro-regeneration.
Fortuna is controlled by a Uk holding company.
photo credit: Fortuna