Biotech startup DiscGenics raises $50 Million in Series C funding to develop regenerative cell-based therapies for treatment of chronic back pain
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a chronic condition that is characterized by inflammation and breakdown of the extracellular matrix within the intervertebral disc. DDD often results in chronic low back pain, which is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is the most common non-cancer reason for opioid prescriptions in the U.S. Each year, 266 million individuals (3.63%) worldwide are diagnosed with lumbar DDD (3).
The condition affects more than 24 million individuals in the U.S. and Canada and is estimated to cost the U.S. healthcare system over $100 billion each year, creating a significant burden on the economy and individual patients. In Japan, epidemiological studies have indicated that there could be more than 30 million patients suffering from spinal disorders in the country, with approximately 160,000 patients needing lumbar spine surgical intervention each year.
DiscGenics is a Salt Lake, Utah-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical startup company revolutionizing care for chronic back pain by developing regenerative cell-based therapies to improve the lives of those suffering from the debilitating effects of degenerative diseases of the spine.
Today, DiscGenics announced it has raised $50 million in a Series C funding round to support ongoing clinical trials of its injectable Discogenic Cell Therapy (IDCT) for lumbar degenerative disc disease (DDD), to fund future commercialization activities in the U.S. and Japan, and for the scale-up and scale-out of its allogeneic cell manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City, UT.
The round, which brings the company’s total investment to just over $71 million, was led by Ci:z Investment LLP with participation from new investors, Eagle Fund SP1 LLP, Medical Incubator Japan (MIJ), CareNet of Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co. Ltd, and other existing long-term investors.
Founded in 2007 by Christopher Duntsch, Flagg Flanagan, John Robertson, Kevin T. Foley, Mark Cohen, Mike Moffat, Rand Page, and Valery Kukekov, DiscGenics is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing regenerative cell-based therapies that alleviate pain and restore function in patients with degenerative diseases of the spine.
“We are extremely pleased and humbled by the interest and support we have received in this round of funding,” said Flagg Flanagan, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors for DiscGenics. “I would like to sincerely thank the team at DiscGenics for their tremendous efficiency over the past several years in the use of our resources and capital to achieve clinical capacity on two continents while building out our manufacturing facility in preparation for anticipated commercial demand of our product.”
DiscGenics is currently conducting two concurrent regulator-allowed, prospective, randomized, double-blinded, controlled, multicenter clinical trials in the U.S. and Japan to evaluate the safety and efficacy of IDCT in subjects with symptomatic, single-level, mild to moderate lumbar DDD. In the U.S., all 60 subjects have been treated and no safety issues have been reported. In Japan, IDCT passed the initial planned safety review and trial enrollment is ongoing.