RDIF, AstraZeneca and Unicorn Capital Partners invest in Target Medicals, developing aldosterone synthase inhibitor for the treatment of resistant arterial hypertension.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund), AstraZeneca and Unicorn Capital Partners, a biotech-specialized VC fund, based in Moscow, Russia today announced the agreement to invest in Target Medicals, developing an inhibitor of aldosterone synthase, a key enzyme responsible for production of aldosterone. This hormone is an essential component of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, which regulates circulating blood volume and arterial blood pressure.
There are at least 1 billion people globally living with arterial hypertension, of which about 10% develop a resistant form of the disease, which is typically diagnosed when regular intake of three or more antihypertensive drugs, including diuretic, does not lead to reduction of blood pressure down to 140/90 mmHg or lower. Inadequately controlled arterial hypertension is known to increase the risks of various health complications, including fatal ones. Therefore, despite available therapy, there is a high unmet need in new pharmacological options for the treatment of resistant arterial hypertension.
Moreover, in a significant number of patients, arterial hypertension is associated with increased level of aldosterone, but there are still no targeted pharmacological options for regulation of its synthesis, despite numerous attempts to develop them.
Besides resistant hypertension, aldosterone synthase inhibitors can potentially be explored in a number of additional indications, including chronic heart failure, coronary heart disease and many others.
Managing Partner and CEO at Unicorn Capital Partners
We are deeply impressed with the quality and competence of the team, which we believe is capable to develop a first-in-class product working in such science-intensive and highly competitive area as biomedicine. We will do our best to provide not only financial, but also organizational support, helping to combine scientific competencies with the best medical, industrial, and entrepreneurial expertise to create a breakthrough medical product for both Russian and global markets. We have a first-grade syndicate of investors, including RDIF and AstraZeneca, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. As far as we know, this is the first precedent of its kind when Big Pharma
directly invests in the capital of a Russian biotech start-up. We hope this will serve as a positive signal for the development of the entire Russian segment of biomedical innovations.
CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)
This investment is part of RDIF's strategy to support innovation and promote breakthrough healthcare technologies. It demonstrates the synergy between RDIF and RVC, which was achieved through the integration of a wide network of partners, the successful track record of cooperation between RDIF and leading companies in medicine and pharmaceuticals, as well as expertise of funds with participation of RVC in the Russian venture capital market. This investment will help Target Medicals at the testing stage of the drug as well as launching it later on the global market, which will significantly improve the quality of life for millions.
CEO of AstraZeneca, Russia and Eurasia
AstraZeneca actively supports local R&D, it is one of our priorities in Russia. We have been running accelerators for start-ups for several years now. As well, we are introducing projects to implement innovative solutions into real practice together with leading Russian medical institutions. We aim to expand this support going further, as we see huge potential of Russian solutions in both local and international markets. From this point of view, venture financing is a logical step.