MONTPELLIER, FRANCE — French biotechnology company Sensorion announced it has raised €50.5 million (around $54 million) through a share offering to new and existing healthcare investors.
The financing included participation from leading U.S. healthcare funds Aquilo Capital and two large investment managers. Existing Sensorion investors Redmile Group, Invus Public Equities and Sofinnova Partners also took part.
“We are delighted to announce today’s successful capital raise of EUR 50.5 million. We are very thankful to the top tier new investors who joined us and express our gratitude to our existing shareholders who have reaffirmed their support in this transaction, Redmile Group, Invus and Sofinnova Partners. This strengthened shareholder base reinforces Sensorion’s ambition to advance its pipeline of innovative therapies intended to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from hearing disorders. The capital increase will enable the Company to pursue its relentless efforts in moving forward its gene therapy programs developed in the framework of the renewed collaboration with the Institut Pasteur. Firstly, SENS-501, our lead program, which has recently received approval from competent authorities to initiate its Phase 1/2 clinical study, Audiogene, in some European countries with France as the first country. We are now entirely focused on the patients recruitment. The proceeds will also benefit our second gene therapy program, GJB2-GT, allowing us to complete the preclinical IND/CTA enabling activities in order to target Clinical Trial Applications submission in H1 2025.”
–Nawal Ouzren, Chief Executive Officer of Sensorion
The company plans to use the proceeds to fund research and development activities through the second quarter of 2025. This includes advancing clinical programs for hearing loss disorders.
Further Supporting Research and Development of Clinical Programs
Sensorion’s lead product SENS-501 recently received approval to start a Phase 1/2 trial called Audiogene in certain European countries. The company aims to begin recruiting patients in the first half of 2024.
The financing will also support preclinical activities for SENS-401 and gene therapy program GJB2-GT. The goal is to file Clinical Trial Applications for GJB2-GT in the first half of 2025.
Expected next clinical milestones
Sensorion expects next milestones across its pipeline in 2024 and 2025, including readouts from SENS-401 studies and the start of SENS-501 enrollment.
- H1 2024 – SENS-401 in combination with cochlear implantation: Primary endpoint readout
- H2 2024, World Congress of Audiology – SENS-401 in Cisplatin-Induced Ototoxicity: Preliminary safety and
- H2 2024 – SENS-501: First patient communication
- H1 2025 – SENS-501: Enrollment of the rst two cohorts of Phase 1/2 Audiogene trial completed
- H1 2025 – GJB2-GT: Clinical Trial Applications Submission
The new shares were issued at a price of €0.57 per share, representing a discount to Sensorion’s recent share price. The issuance will increase the company’s share capital by approximately 47%.
Leerink Partners, Stifel and Chardan acted as placement agents for the offering. The financing is expected to extend Sensorion’s cash runway into the second quarter of 2025.
Sensorion is a pioneering clinical-stage biotech company, which specializes in the development of novel therapies to restore, treat and prevent hearing loss disorders, a significant global unmet medical need. Sensorion has built a unique R&D technology platform to expand its understanding of the pathophysiology and etiology of inner ear related diseases, enabling it to select the best targets and mechanisms of action for drug candidates.
It has two gene therapy programs aimed at correcting hereditary monogenic forms of deafness, developed in the framework of its broad strategic collaboration focused on the genetics of hearing with the Institut Pasteur. OTOF-GT targets deafness caused by mutations of the gene encoding for otoferlin and GJB2-GT targets hearing loss related to mutations in GJB2 gene to potentially address important hearing loss segments in adults and children. The Company is also working on the identification of biomarkers to improve diagnosis of these underserved illnesses.
Sensorion’s portfolio also comprises clinical-stage small molecule programs for the treatment and prevention of hearing loss disorders.
Sensorion’s clinical-stage portfolio includes one Phase 2 product: SENS-401 (Arazasetron) progressing in a planned Phase 2 proof of concept clinical study of SENS-401 in Cisplatin-Induced Ototoxicity (CIO) and, with partner Cochlear Limited, in a study of SENS-401 in patients scheduled for cochlear implantation. A Phase 2 study of SENS-401 was also completed in Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSNHL) in January 2022.