Versantis obtain funds to fuel clinical trials


Versantis has closed a CHF16 million Series B financing round to advance the clinical development of their novel therapeutics for liver diseases.


Swisscanto Invest by Zürcher Kantonalbank led the financing and was joined by Esperante Ventures and investiere, as well as new private investors. Existing investors Redalpine, HealthEquity, and Zürcher Kantonalbank Start-up Finance also participated in this round. Founded by leading scientists from ETH Zurich and industry experts, Versantis is pursuing innovative therapies for the acute care of serious liver conditions based on its proprietary liposomes-based detoxification platform technology. Its lead candidate, VS-01, uses a disruptive route to enhance the clearance of ammonia and other toxins from the body.Earlier in the year, Versantis started a first-in-human clinical trial with VS-01, a multi-organ supporting therapy for liver cirrhosis. The proceeds from this new financing will be mainly used to assess the safety of VS-01 after multiple doses and establish its clinical proof of concept in the decompensated liver cirrhosis indication as well as in the rare Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure (ACLF) patient population.“Since the launch of Versantis, we have matured and successfully translated our unique technology into a potentially lifesaving therapy, now being evaluated in cirrhotic patients. This financing is yet another validation of the important work accomplished by the whole Versantis team,” said Dr. Vincent Forster, CEO and co-founder of Versantis. “We are thrilled to receive the support and partnership from this group of top-tier life science investors to help us achieve our mission. With this funding, we aim to demonstrate VS-01 clinical benefit and position Versantis as a key pioneer in the care of serious liver diseases.”Dr. Meriam Kabbaj, COO and co-founder of Versantis commented: “The Series B closing coincides with the regulatory clearance and initiation of Versantis’ first in human study, one of the most important milestones the company has achieved so far, in order to assess the safety of VS-01 in cirrhotic patients with ascites and mild hepatic encephalopathy. This funding is pivotal to support clinical development towards proof of efficacy in two indications of high unmet medical need. It highlights our commitment to soon transform the lives of patients with liver disease and their families.”With the closing of this financing round, Dr. Robert Schier, Investment Director PE/VC Health-Tech at Swisscanto Invest, will join Versantis’ Board of Directors, chaired by Peter Nicklin, a senior healthcare executive and entrepreneur.“We are excited to join Versantis as a lead investor on its journey to develop and launch a novel therapy, which could have significant impact for a growing number of patients with liver diseases. Swisscanto Invest is convinced about the unique clinical approach, the rigorous planning and execution of the project and the key stakeholders of the company as an excellent basis of success.” stated Dr. Schier. (Press release)