Renovacor raises $11M to advance gene therapy for dilated cardiomyopathy

Biopharmaceutical company Renovacor, Inc., on August 14 announced it had raised $11 million in Series A financing to further develop its gene therapy-based treatments for CVD.

Renovacor, which is based in Philadelphia, locked down funding from the Novartis Venture Fund, Broadview Ventures, BioAdvance, New Leaf Venture Partners and Innogest Capital, according to a statement. Proceeds from the Series A round will go toward filing an investigational new drug (IND) application with the FDA to initiate human clinical trials in heart failure patients with a specific gene mutation.

The company’s work focuses on a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapy for patients suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) due to mutations in their Bcl2-associated athanogene 3, or BAG3, gene. The prevalence of disease causing BAG3 haploinsufficiency is estimated at around 35,000 people in the U.S., making it an orphan disease by FDA standards.

Right now, the subset of DCM patients who also have a BAG3 mutation are treated with standard-of-care HF therapies, but BAG3 patients tend to be younger and progress to end-stage heart failure quicker than patients with DCM alone.

Even without additional BAG3 complications, individuals with dilated cardiomyopathy face five-year survival odds of just 50%.

“There are currently no precision medicine options for cardiovascular patients with specific gene mutations—a deficiency that Renovacor hopes to address,” Magdalene Cook, MD, president and CEO of the company, said in a statement. “By bringing the first precision therapy for a cardiovascular disease to the market, we aim to change the therapeutic paradigm that has existed in this field for more than three decades.”