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Series A financing: ALENTIS Therapeutics receives CHF 12.5 million

Cate­gory: Venture Capi­tal
1. May 2019

Basel — ALENTIS Thera­peu­tics (“ALENTIS”), a Swiss-French biotech company is deve­lo­ping new, inno­va­tive drugs for the treat­ment of advan­ced liver dise­a­ses and cancer. In a CHF 12.5 million (€11.1 million; USD 12.5 million) Series A finan­cing, Swiss venture capi­tal firms BioMed­Part­ners and BB Pureos Bioven­tures led the consor­tium, which was joined by BPI France, Schro­der Adveq and the German High Tech Grün­der­fonds (HTGF).

Dr. Markus L.E.Ewert, MBA has been appoin­ted CEO of the new company. He was previously a board member at Ablynx and contri­bu­ted to one of the largest U.S. biotech IPOs of the year and the very successful sale of Ablynx to Sanofi. Previously, Dr. Ewert led global corpo­rate deve­lo­p­ment at GE Health­care, held leader­ship posi­ti­ons at Novar­tis, and successfully built life science compa­nies based on innovation.

ALENTIS’ most advan­ced project is a huma­ni­zed mono­clonal anti­body against a protein that plays a key role in the patho­logy of liver fibro­sis and hepa­to­cel­lu­lar carci­noma. Limi­ted thera­peu­tic opti­ons are available for the treat­ment of advan­ced liver dise­ase and cancer. Alen­tis’ inno­va­tive project aims to address this major clini­cal problem.

ALENTIS rese­arch is based on an inno­va­tive tech­no­logy plat­form that uses a gene expres­sion signa­ture that diffe­ren­tia­tes between good and poor progno­sis in liver dise­ase. This plat­form can be used to find and deve­lop further drug candi­da­tes for the treat­ment of advan­ced liver dise­a­ses and cancer.

ALENTIS is based on ground­brea­king rese­arch conduc­ted by Prof. Dr. Thomas Baumert’s labo­ra­tory at the Univer­sity of Stras­bourg, the Inserm Insti­tute for Viral and Liver Dise­ase, the Labo­ra­tory of Excel­lence HepSYS and the Insti­tut Hospi­­tal-Univer­­­si­­taire Stras­bourg, and other colla­bo­ra­tors, inclu­ding Prof. Dr. Yujin Hoshida at the Univer­sity of Texas Southwes­tern in Dallas. SATT Conec­tus, the tech­no­logy trans­fer support orga­niza­tion in Alsace (France), was instru­men­tal in provi­ding, buil­ding and secu­ring the patent port­fo­lio licen­sed to ALENTIS. BaseLaunch, an inno­va­tion acce­le­ra­tor opera­ted by BaselArea.swiss, was instru­men­tal in the early stages of the company’s crea­tion as a finan­cial and opera­tio­nal supporter. Through this tri-natio­nal colla­bo­ra­tion, ALENTIS is now head­quar­te­red in Basel, Switz­er­land with a subsi­diary in Stras­bourg, France and a branch office in Germany.

Thomas F. Baumert, M.D., Profes­sor of Medi­cine, Head of the Inserm Rese­arch Insti­tute and Chair of Hepa­to­logy at the Univer­sity Hospi­tal of Stras­bourg, and prin­ci­pal foun­der of ALENTIS, said, “Toge­ther with my colle­agues, we are exci­ted to bring our new thera­peu­tic approa­ches with their inno­va­tive and promi­sing mecha­nism of action into the clinic. Our goal is to improve the treat­ment of pati­ents with advan­ced liver disease.”

Dr. Andreas Wallnöfer, former Head of Clini­cal Rese­arch & Early Deve­lo­p­ment at F. Hoff­­mann-La Roche Ltd. and now Gene­ral Part­ner at the Basel-based venture capi­tal firm BioMed­Part­ners, added: “The precli­ni­cal data set of the ALENTIS lead program is very compre­hen­sive and convin­cing. They demons­trate the thera­peu­tic poten­tial of the new phar­ma­co­lo­gi­cal approach in the treat­ment of advan­ced liver dise­a­ses of diffe­rent patho­ge­ne­sis. Prof. Baumert’s rese­arch is trans­la­tio­nal and links rese­arch and clinic through a progno­stic gene expres­sion signa­ture. This is extre­mely valuable for the opti­mal charac­te­riza­tion and deve­lo­p­ment of the most advan­ced project and for the disco­very of further programs for the treat­ment of liver diseases.”

The Board of Direc­tors of ALENTIS will be compo­sed of Neil Golds­mith, Co-Foun­­der and Chair­man; Andreas Wallnöfer, Gene­ral Part­ner at BioMed­Part­ners; Martin Münch­bach, Mana­ging Part­ner at BB Pureos Bioven­tures; Benoit Barteau, Senior Invest­ment Mana­ger at BPI France, and Prof. Thomas F.Baumert, Prin­ci­pal Founder

About ALENTIS Therapeutics
ALENTIS Thera­peu­tics (ALENTIS) disco­vers and deve­lops inno­va­tive drugs for the treat­ment of advan­ced liver dise­a­ses such as liver fibro­sis, cirrho­sis and liver cancer (hepa­to­cel­lu­lar carci­noma, HCC). — The Swiss-French biotech company, estab­lished as ALENTIS Thera­peu­tics AG in March 2019, is head­quar­te­red in Basel, Switz­er­land, with a subsi­diary in Stras­bourg, France, and a branch office in Germany.

ALENTIS has licen­sed plat­form tech­no­lo­gies and mono­clonal anti­bo­dies that are the result of more than a decade of rese­arch by the Univer­sity of Stras­bourg and Inserm, the French Natio­nal Insti­tute of Health and Mount Sinai Hospi­tal, New York.

Priva­tely held ALENTIS is funded by leading venture inves­tors BioMed­Part­ners, BB Pureos Bioven­tures, BPI France, Schro­der Adveq and the German High-Tech Grün­der­fonds (HTGF).

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