A Scottish biotech company has secured £2 million as part of a funding round led by Kelvin Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank.
ProFactor Pharma (PFP), based at the Roslin Innovation Centre just outside Edinburgh, will use the funding boost to further develop its pioneering treatment for ‘Haemophilia A’ blood disease.
The funding will also be used for process optimisation and toxicology studies to enter clinical trials after 12 months as it continues to develop low-cost recombinant human factor VIII (rhFVIII) for the treatment of the blood disease.
rhFVIII helps prevent and treat bleeding in patients with Haemophilia A, a bleeding disorder where a protein made by the body to help blood clot is partly or completely missing.
PFP’s proprietary cell line is capable of producing rhFVIII at “significantly higher yields” through a production process which employs innovative disposable single-use technology.
Commenting on the funding announcement, Jaymin Amin of PFP said: “The current global market for rhFVIII is vast. However, current supplies only reach a third of those who need it.
“Our patented process delivers rhFVIII indistinguishable from a market-leading product but due to the higher yield and lower cost of our product we are in an extremely strong position to lead in the massively undersupplied markets of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia.”
According to the World Federation of Haemophilia, there are more than 400,000 sufferers of Haemophilia A worldwide but only around 151,000 are currently treated. Annual sales of rhFVIII currently stand at more than $5.4 billion.
However, there remains massive undersupply and unmet needs in other markets excluded from rhFVIII access – largely due to current high product costs.
John McNicol of Kelvin Capital said: “ProFactor Pharma is set to disrupt a market with lower cost and higher quality treatments for 400,000 sufferers of Haemophilia A across the world.
“Current manufacturers only supply 30% of the market with a higher cost treatment so the opportunity for PFP is really significant and runs into billions of dollars. The disease affects one in 5,000 male births, which also means that the number of patients requiring treatment is growing annually.”
Kerry Sharp, director, Scottish Investment Bank, added: “We are delighted to continue our support for ProFactor Pharma. Clearly, there is a substantial global market for the company’s product and this phase of its development puts it on a pathway to full commercialisation.”