Biotechnology firm Aegle Therapeutics, which specialises in isolating extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by mesenchymal stem cells as therapy, has raised $4m in a funding round led by Boca Raton-based New World Angels.

Tellus BioVentures, DEFTA Healthcare Technologies and DeepWork Capital also participated in the financing round, alongside existing investors.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to fund a clinical trial to treat orphan disease Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (DEB). This trial will be the first in the US to use exosomes isolated from allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells as therapy.

DEB is a rare paediatric skin blistering disorder.

Aegle Therapeutics CEO Shelley Hartman said: “We are very excited to close this first institutional financing round with such knowledgeable, high-calibre biotech investors.

“The new funding validates our business plan and allows us to advance AGLE-102 into the clinic, as well as expand the capabilities and opportunities of this cutting-edge platform.”

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Aegle’s patented isolation process safely isolates EVs secreted by allogeneic bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, which are multipotent stem cells found in bone marrow. These EVs also carry certain proteins and mRNA which may prove essential for treating DEB.

According to the company, Aegle’s EVs showed a similar regenerative functionality to their parent cells in preclinical research, demonstrating the potential for cell-free therapy.

Tellus BioVentures founder Lonnie Moulder said: “We are pleased to support the advancement of this very promising science into clinical trials by Aegle’s highly capable management team.”

Aegle’s investigational new drug (IND) indicated for the treatment of patients with DEB has received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The company expects to begin DEB clinical trials in the first half of this year.