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Norway’s Calluna Pharma secures €75M in Series A funding for innovative therapies in inflammatory and fibrotic diseases following merger of Oxitope Pharma and Arxx Therapeutics

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Calluna Pharma Inc. has secured €75 million in a Series A financing round, led by Forbion and featuring participation from Norwegian investors Sarsia, p53, and Investinor. The company has been established through the merger of Oxitope Pharma and Arxx Therapeutics, aiming to develop therapies for inflammatory and fibrotic diseases by targeting innate immune system components. Calluna’s approach involves disrupting disease-related signaling pathways while prioritizing safety. The funding will be allocated to completing multiple clinical proofs-of-concept across their pipeline of selective antibodies, with a focus on programs like CAL101.

Calluna is developing novel therapies that harness the transformative potential of the body’s immune system. The Company’s unique approach involves precision targeting of upstream innate immune amplifiers, enabling disruption of a comprehensive range of disease-associated downstream signaling pathways while maintaining a favorable safety profile. As a result, Calluna has developed a robust pipeline of selective antibodies, targeting immunological diseases. These include novel therapeutic candidates that fulfil unmet clinical needs across a spectrum of diseases, driven by acute or chronic inflammation and non-resolving tissue fibrosis.

Calluna has four promising therapies in its pipeline. Its clinical stage lead program, CAL101, is a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes the bioactivity of S100A4, a DAMP protein implicated in serious and life-threatening diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and severe (steroid insensitive) asthma. Of particular interest is another of its programs, CAL102, a monoclonal antibody neutralizing oxidized phospholipids – these play a significant role in onset and progression of a wide range of acute and chronic inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. CAL102 demonstrated efficacy in several preclinical disease models.

John Montana, PhD., Chief Executive Officer of Calluna Pharma, commented: “In joining forces, these two key players in the innate immunology space have created an exciting new clinical company that has four promising therapies in its pipeline with excellent preclinical proof-of-concept data. By innovating beyond traditional treatment strategies, Calluna offers clinical candidates with superior efficacy, improved patient tolerance, and minimal adverse side effects which have real potential to redefine patient outcomes.”


Antoine Boulanger, PhD., Principal at Forbion, added: “The merger of Oxitope Pharma and Arxx Therapeutics to create Calluna Pharma is a prime example of our Forbion Ventures Fund’s strategy where we both build new and enable existing companies. As a result, we recognized the strength of combining these two companies’ pioneering approaches to disrupt the treatment of inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, the complementarity of management skills, and the resulting robust clinical pipeline. We look forward to continuing our support of potentially life changing clinical assets moving into the next phases of clinical development.”


Sveinung Hole, MBA, Managing Partner at Sarsia (ex-Chair at Arxx Therapeutics) and Susanne Stuffers MD, PhD, Managing Partner at p53, commented: “Sarsia and p53 strive to bring cutting edge ideas and therapies from early-phase to clinical development and beyond to benefit patients and transform people’s lives. Calluna Pharma epitomizes this, and we are enthusiastic to join forces with Forbion and to contribute to the success of this new entity.”

The company’s board of directors will include John Montana, Operating Partner (Forbion), as Chief Executive Officer, Antoine Boulanger, Principal (Forbion), Susanne Stuffers (p53), Farzad Abdi-Dezfuli General Partner (Sarsia), and Marco Boorsma, General Partner (Forbion) as Chairman. The Company is raising further financing to develop its pipeline to multiple key clinical milestones over the next 2.5 years.

Click to read more funding news.

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Nurcin Metingil
Nurcin Metingil
A permanent student, a passionate first reader and nowadays doing master’s degree in Publishing Management. Beside these, I am up for games! I have been playing games since I was 6. Now, I am whispering "Business. Business. Numbers. Is this working?"

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