Merz strengthens partnership with start-up Vensica and invests up to $3 million
Frankfurt, Germany, February 7, 2022 – Merz Therapeutics, a company of the Merz Group and a leader in the field of neurotoxins, is expanding its strategic partnership with Vensica Therapeutics as the Merz Group invests up to $3 million in the Israeli start-up. This investment follows the strategic license and collaboration agreement signed in 2021 to utilize Merz’s botulinum neurotoxin A (XEOMIN®) for the innovative ultrasound-assisted delivery catheter of Vensica. Merz is thus executing its contractually agreed option to participate in Vensica’s Series C financing round and invest further in the start-up.
“Investing in innovation is part of our DNA. We choose our investments very carefully with the ambition to make a real difference for patients, strategic partners and our shareholders” explains Jörg Bergler, COO Merz Group. “As in other transactions, we have the ambition to be more than an investor by offering expertise and services to our partners.”
The funds raised of in total up to $19 million will support the Vensica’s phase II multicenter clinical trials in Europe and the USA. Vensica is expanding its workforce in Israel for next stage clinical and regulatory development of its device together with Merz Therapeutics’ XEOMIN®, focusing on overactive bladder treatment.
“Our ambition is to grow and to expand our product portfolio with more solutions that help us to create better outcomes for more patients,” states Stefan Brinkmann, CEO of Merz Therapeutics. “Merz’ commitment to Vensica reflects how promising the needleless treatment of patients with overactive bladder is in combination with our strategic product XEOMIN®. The first months of our collaboration with Vensica already showed good progress and our further investment will strengthen our position as a strategic partner of Vensica and a driver for the development of a less invasive treatment of bladder diseases.”
Vensica is unlocking the potential of neurotoxins in urology by developing minimally invasive solutions using the unique properties of therapeutic ultrasound to deliver botulinum neurotoxin A to the bladder. Vensica’s needle-free drug delivery platform is intended for the treatment of urological indications including overactive bladder, neurogenic bladder, and interstitial cystitis. Today’s gold standard treatment requires needle injections of the neurotoxin into the bladder wall. Vensica’s needle-free platform is expected to enable a far superior patient experience resolving needle-associated issues including pain, and urinary retention, making a generally more complicated procedure easier. Vensica’s platform is anticipated to facilitate more efficacious treatment through more uniform delivery of the neurotoxin to the bladder wall.
Vensica CEO Avner Geva, commented: “This investment demonstrates Merz’ commitment in us as a company and to establishing a urology treatment platform to treat bladder indications. Merz is the second strategic global company joining this financing round, following Laborie, a global urology company, that has made two investments in Vensica.”
About Merz Therapeutics
Merz Therapeutics GmbH is dedicated to improving the lives of patients around the world. With its relentless research, development, and culture of innovation, Merz Therapeutics strives to serve unmet patient needs and realize better outcomes. Merz Therapeutics seeks to address the unique needs of people who suffer from movement disorders, neurological conditions, liver disease, and other health conditions that severely impact patients’ quality of life. Merz Therapeutics is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and is represented in more than 90 countries, with a North America affiliate based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Merz Therapeutics GmbH is part of the Merz Group, a privately held, family-owned company that has dedicated more than 110 years to developing innovations that serve unmet patient and customer needs.
Please visit www.merztherapeutics.com
About Vensica Therapeutics
Vensica is an Israeli-based urology therapeutics company. The company is developing a unique platform for drug delivery for several urinary bladder indications, based on a proprietary ultrasound-assisted drug delivery system. The company was founded in 2015 by Avner Geva, (Yale, B.Sc, Technion, M.Sc) and is led and backed by medical and therapeutics leaders, including Chairman M.D., Ph.D, Nissim Darvish, Michael Ingber, M.D., board member appointed by IBF, Lew Pell, Laborie, Merz Pharmaceuticals, The Trendlines Group (SGX: 42T) (OTCQX: TRNLY), and The Israel Innovation Authority.
Merz Group is a global, diversified company with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Its commitment to innovation, long-term perspective, and focus on profitable growth depict the privately owned company that has been around for more than 110 years. Merz Group has the businesses Merz Aesthetics, Merz Therapeutics, Merz Consumer Care, Merz Real Estate and Financial Investments. The company employs 3,969 people in 28 countries worldwide.
To learn more, please visit www.merz.com.