Switzerland-headquartered Memo Therapeutics has closed a Series C financing round worth $27.67m (SFr 25m), with the biotech stating the proceeds will fund a Phase II trial investigating its candidate AntiBKV.

Swiss venture capital (VC) company Pureos Bioventures led the round, with participation from existing investors, including Swisscanto, Vesalius Biocapital and Adjuvant Capital among others.

the funds raised in the round will be used to complete Memo’s Phase II trial investigating a treatment for BK polyomavirus (BKV) infection in kidney transplant recipients, as per a 2 November press release. Data from the trial is anticipated in 2024.

BKV is an opportunistic virus that can reactivate in patients post-transplant due to the immunosuppressive drug regimen. According to Memo, it is triggered in 40% to 50% of kidney transplant recipients, with 10% of these cases leading to BKV-associated nephropathy.

The virus can therefore severely impair renal transplant graft survival rates. There are currently no US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatments for BKV infection, so reducing the dose of immunosuppressive drugs is currently used as a treatment.

Memo is developing a candidate intended to neutralise the infection. The antibody, called AntiBKV, received fast track designation from the FDA in May 2023. Memo’s candidate has already produced positive Phase I data, with the trial meeting its primary endpoints of safety and pharmacokinetics.

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The Phase II trial (NCT05769582) evaluates the safety, tolerability and efficacy of the treatment in reducing BKV and progression to biopsy-confirmed BKVAN in kidney transplant recipients, based on its ClinicalTrials.gov listing. The trial assesses the proportion of participants without detectable BKV in their blood at day 141 as one of the two coprimary endpoints.

Memo stated the funds will also go towards scaling up CMC manufacturing of AntiBKV ahead of a potential Phase III trial. Memo anticipates the drug will launch in 2025 depending on clinical trial success.

Memo board of directors chairman Elias Papatheodorou said: “With these new funds, we are in an optimal position to complete a multi-centre Phase II study with AntiBKV, a treatment option that could dramatically improve the lives of renal transplant patients.”