WASHINGTON D.C. | December 10, 2020 – Cyrano Therapeutics, a clinical stage regenerative medicine company developing a novel intranasal therapy for smell and flavor restoration, has raised $12.8 million in a Series A financing led by Remiges Ventures and Lumira Ventures, with the participation of additional investors. The funds will be used to complete a Phase 2 clinical trial of the company’s lead product, CYR-064, in the U.S. and Europe. As part of the financing, Taka Koda of Remiges Ventures and Gerry Brunk of Lumira Ventures have joined the company’s board of directors.
The chronic loss of smell and flavor is a condition affecting at least 5% of the population in the U.S. with a similar incidence in Europe and Asia. Influenza, allergic rhinitis and traumatic brain injury are commonly known causes of chronic smell and flavor loss. In the neurodegenerative disease sector, it is also known that 95 percent of Parkinson’s patients experience smell and flavor loss, often the first symptom of the disease.
Over the past year, clinicians now recognize that over 90% of COVID-19 patients experience at least some smell loss or smell distortion (known as anosmia, hyposmia or parosmia), with over half of them experiencing severe to complete loss of smell and flavor. Although many patients recover, an indeterminate number may have a chronic dysfunction in need of long-term treatment. The company expects to include COVID-19 patients in its clinical trial, along with patients whose loss of smell resulted from other viral infections.
Cyrano Therapeutics was founded after Chief Executive Officer Rick Geoffrion experienced a long-term loss of smell and flavor due to the flu several years ago. Partnering with Robert Henkin, PhD, Director of The Taste and Smell Clinic in Washington D.C., they co-founded Cyrano Therapeutics to bring a safe and effective treatment to patients.
“When losing all sense of smell and flavor, you realize the magnitude of the issue and how much these senses are intertwined with general social interaction, appetite, libido and memory. These are the building blocks of everyday life and integral to one’s physical and mental quality of life. Importantly, our sense of smell also alerts us to threats including gas leaks, smoke and spoiled food. Together with Dr. Henkin, we are on a mission to take this therapy through rigorous trials and provide full access for the millions who need it,” says Geoffrion.
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About Cyrano Therapeutics
Cyrano Therapeutics is a private, venture-backed clinical stage regenerative medicine company developing a novel therapy to restore smell and flavor function. The chronic loss of smell and flavor is a condition affecting at least 5% of the U.S. population with a similar incidence in Europe and Asia. Influenza, allergic rhinitis and traumatic brain injury are commonly known causes of chronic smell and flavor loss. The condition is now recognized as a widely prevalent long-term condition suffered by many patients who have recovered from COVID-19.