Jan 19, 2024

Delray Beach-based Cyrno Therapeutics secures funding for smell loss treatment


Cyrano Therapeutics, Inc. announced that it has secured a $9.0 million Series B financing to advance the development of CYR-064 as a potential first-ever treatment for post-viral smell loss.

Hyposmia, including post-viral hyposmia, is an increasingly prevalent and serious chronic sensory condition for which there is no approved drug therapy and limited treatment options. Hyposmia causes significant impairment in quality of life for many sufferers. Moreover, in older individuals, hyposmia is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment and mortality. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 8 million individuals in the US and Europe suffered from long-term post-viral hyposmia. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in dramatically increased prevalence, with an estimated 40 million individuals in the US and Europe currently suffering from long-term post-viral hyposmia.

Delray Beach-based Cyrano Therapeutics is a private, venture-backed clinical stage regenerative medicine company. Since their foundation, the company has been working diligently to develop therapies for people struggling with the loss of smell (hyposmia) and taste.

Co-lead investors participating in the financing include the Florida Opportunity Fund managed by DeepWork Capital and existing investors Lumira Ventures and Remiges Ventures.

DeepWork Capital invests professionally managed committed venture capital in growth-oriented, early-stage companies in the technology and life science sectors. They partner with visionary entrepreneurs building disruptive companies and work closely with other investment groups taking a hands-on approach with its portfolio companies

Cyrano intends to use the proceeds from its Series B financing to advance FLAVOR, its Phase 2, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of CYR-064, an intranasal theophylline spray therapy to treat patients who have lost their sense of smell following recovery from a viral infection. The FLAVOR Phase 2 trial will be conducted at up to 15 sites in the US and the Series B financing is to fund the trial through data readout.

According to Cyrano’s website, “The Cyrano team has developed a unique, proprietary intranasal product to restore function in patients with a chronic loss of taste and smell. This is a condition affecting at least 14 million people in the US and a similar number in Europe, having a significant impact on safety, quality of life and well-being. Currently no marketed therapy exists and aside from the Cyrano product, none are in the pipeline. Cyrano has established the IP estate with the assistance of Wilson Sonsini. Key patents have been issued.”

CEO of Cyrano, Rick Geoffrion

“This Series B financing enables us to advance what we believe to be a first-of-its-kind treatment for patients suffering from long-term smell loss due to a viral infection,” said Rick Geoffrion, President and CEO of Cyrano Therapeutics, Inc. “Smell loss correlates to functional loss of taste, which can both diminish quality of life and present significant health and safety risks, thus underscoring the urgency in advancing this important therapeutic. We also plan to conduct exploratory research for patients with Parkinson’s disease, 95 percent of whom often experience loss of smell and flavor as the first symptom of the disease.”

Jackson Streeter, MD, Venture Partner at DeepWork Capital, stated: “Cyrano Therapeutics represents an important investment for DeepWork and the Florida Opportunity Fund as we seek to identify and cultivate emerging biotechnology companies in Florida that combine executive and scientific expertise with therapeutic opportunities that offer the potential to address significant, unmet medical needs. We look forward to supporting the entire Cyrano team as the company advances CYR-064 through the FLAVOR Phase 2 trial.”

The number of patients experiencing long-term smell and flavor loss has increased 10-fold in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to more than 40 million patients in the US and Europe. Thirty percent of those suffering from smell loss will experience a hazardous event such as food poisoning or the inability to detect hazardous fumes. There is currently no FDA-approved drug therapy to treat smell loss from any cause.