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).