Oxagen raised £16 million ($26.51 million) in a Series C financing round led by new investor Novartis Venture Funds. The company reports that it will use the funds both to continue an ongoing Phase II trial with OC000459, its lead CRTH2 antagonist against asthma, and also to expand its CRTH2 antagonist program in inflammatory and respiratory diseases.
Oxagen’s aim is to expand the therapeutic indications for CRTH2 antagonists, including both OC000459 and other back-up compounds. CRTH2, also known as DP2, is a cell surface receptor for prostaglandin D2. OC000459 is an oral anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of allergic disease and has completed Phase IIa trials demonstrating efficacy in both asthma and allergic rhinitis.
Oxagen is focused on the development of GPCR-targeting drugs against inflammatory diseases. The company has developed its lead small molecule CRTH2 antagonist program for asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis from concept through nine clinical trials.
Oxagen is also looking for partners to develop its CCRL2 receptor program. According to the company, the CCRL2 receptor, which is also known as HCR, CRAM-A, CRAM-B, CKRX, and Eo1, is strongly expressed on macrophages and is also present as an alternative spliced variant on activated macrophages.