Danish biotech Acesion Pharma has raised €45m in an oversubscribed Series B financing round. The money will go towards funding the clinical development of the company’s atrial fibrillation therapy, AP31969.
The investors that took part in the Series B financing round include Canaan, Alpha Wave, Global BioAccess Fund and Novo Holdings.
AP31969 is an oral SK ion channel inhibitor that is being developed as a maintenance treatment to prevent the recurrence of atrial fibrillation. In March, Acesion announced that more than 50% of the participants in the Phase II AP31969 trial (NCT04571385) reported atrial fibrillation conversion to normal sinus rhythm within 90 minutes of infusion start, compared to zero participants in the placebo group.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm in which the top chambers of the heart (the atria) quiver or twitch, which is known as fibrillation. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) forecasts that about 12.1 million people in the US will have atrial fibrillation in 2030.
Acesion’s drug would have to demonstrate a differentiation compared with existing drugs as atrial fibrillation is set to be flooded by generic products. GlobalData predicts the sales of atrial fibrillation drugs will decline from $14.53bn in 2022 to $12.8bn in 2032 across the eight major markets (the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Canada and Japan) due to patent expiry of the high grossing drugs and entry of generics.
GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.
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Bristol Myers Squibb, which is a market leader in atrial fibrillation, has seen a stagnation in sales of Eliquis (apixaban). The drug had global sales of $3.204bn in Q2 2023 which was comparable to its Q2 2022 sales of $3.235bn, as per the company’s financials.