ALENTIS Therapeutics launches, raising CHF 12.5m in a Series A to develop novel therapeutics in advanced liver disease and cancer
April 30, 2019
ALENTIS Therapeutics (“ALENTIS”), a Swiss-French biotech company developing novel therapeutics in advanced liver disease and cancer, announced today the completion of a Series A financing of CHF 12.5million (Euro 11.1m; USD 12.5m). The Swiss venture capital firms BioMedPartners and BB Pureos Bioventures co-led the round and were joined by BPI France, Schroder Adveq and the German High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF).
Markus L.E. Ewert, PhD, MBA has joined the company as Chief Executive Officer. Markus was previously CBO at Ablynx, contributing to both its US IPO and highly successful sale to Sanofi. Before, he led global corporate development at GE Healthcare, had leadership positions at Novartis, and has a track record of building businesses based on innovations.
ALENTIS’ lead program is a humanized monoclonal antibody against a target that plays a key role in the pathology of liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Advanced liver disease and cancer are major clinical challenges world-wide and characterized by a poor outcome and limited therapeutic options.
ALENTIS’ research is powered by its proprietary drug discovery platform, which is based on a prognostic liver disease signature holding promise for the discovery and development of further drug candidates to treat advanced liver diseases and cancer.
ALENTIS is founded on ground-breaking research of the laboratory of Prof. Thomas Baumert, MD at the University of Strasbourg, the Inserm Institute for Viral and Liver Disease, the Laboratory of Excellence HepSYS and the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Strasbourg as well as other collaborators, including Prof. Yujin Hoshida, MD at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas. SATT Conectus, the organization for accelerating technology transfer in the Alsace territory (France) has been essential in providing, building and securing the IP portfolio that has been licensed to ALENTIS. BaseLaunch, a healthcare accelerator operated by BaselArea.swiss, has been instrumental as an early stage financial and operational supporter in the formation of the company. As a result of this tri-national collaboration, ALENTIS’ headquarters have been incorporated in Basel (Switzerland) with a subsidiary in Strasbourg (France) and a branch in Germany.
Thomas F. Baumert, MD, principal founder of ALENTIS and Professor of Medicine, Head Inserm Research Institute, Chair Hepatology University Hospital Strasbourg said: “Together with my colleagues we are excited to be translating our novel approaches and therapeutic compounds with a unique mechanism of action into clinical drug candidates, with the aim of improving the very poor outcomes of patients with advanced liver disease.“
Andreas Wallnöfer, former Head of Clinical Research & Exploratory Development at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and General Partner at BioMedPartners added: “The pre-clinical data set of the ALENTIS lead molecule are most comprehensive and convincing: they support the therapeutic potential in advanced liver disease of different origins. Prof. Baumert’s research is truly translational and links pre-clinic and clinic through a prognostic gene expression signature, which is most valuable to optimally characterize the lead project and fuel further programs.”
ALENTIS’ Board of Directors will comprise Neil Goldsmith, a 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, the principal founder.
About ALENTIS Therapeutics
ALENTIS Therapeutics (ALENTIS) discovers and develops novel medications to treat advanced liver diseases, such as liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC).
A Swiss-French biotech company, established as ALENTIS Therapeutics Ltd in March 2019, ALENTIS is headquartered in Basel (Switzerland) with a subsidiary in Strasbourg (France) and a branch in Germany.
ALENTIS has in-licensed platform technologies and a monoclonal antibody drug candidate which are the result of more than a decade of research from the University of Strasbourg and Inserm, the French National Institutes of Health and the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York.
A privately held company, ALENTIS is financed by leading venture investors BioMedPartners, BB Pureos Bioventures, BPI France, Schroder Adveq and the German High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF).
At the company
Markus L.E. Ewert, PhD, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
+49 157 5877 9471
Sue Charles/Alex Shaw/Phil Marriage
+44 20 7866 2857
About SATT Conectus
SATT Conectus Alsace is the main entry point for business partners and companies to access all innovations and capabilities from public research in Alsace (France). Thanks to its investment fund (up to 500k€ per innovative project), SATT Conectus offers advanced, applicative technologies whose proof of concept has been established and that are ready to be industrialized. SATT Conectus also supports collaborations allowing companies to co-develop high potential innovative projects with public research, in order to tailor them to their specific needs. Since 2012, 1 046 collaborative research contracts were signed, 102 innovative projects financed, 86 technologies transferred, and 17 startups created. www.conectus.fr/en
BaseLaunch is operated by BaselArea.swiss, the agency for economic and innovation promotion of the region of Basel, Switzerland. The accelerator supports and derisks promising healthcare start-ups and embeds them deeply into the Basel biopharma ecosystem. The companies benefit from funding, access to pharma partners, know-how from experts and fully equipped lab space. www.baselaunch.ch
Based in Basel, BioMedPartners is a leading, independent European venture capital firm that acts frequently as lead-or co-lead investor providing private equity to early- to mid-stage life sciences companies. Since 2002, BioMedPartners has invested in several highly innovative companies of which 22 have already either successfully been acquired by leading biopharma companies or have completed an IPO.
With more than CHF 350 million in capital under management and a strong team of experienced industry experts as well as an extensive scientific network, BioMedPartners has established itself as one of the leading early-stage human healthcare investors in Europe. In February 2017 the company announced the first closing of BioMedInvest III, their third equity venture capital fund, with the final closing in February 2018 at CHF 100 million. www.biomedvc.com
About BB Pureos Bioventures
BB Pureos Bioventures is a newly formed venture capital fund, advised by Bellevue Asset Management, with offices in Zurich, London and New York. Active since 1993, Bellevue manages more than six billion dollars in the healthcare sector. Pureos exclusively invests in private innovative drug development companies, with a special emphasis on the next generation of biological drugs and drug formats. With its experienced and dedicated team of venture capitalists and biotech entrepreneurs, Pureos strives to impact patients’ lives by advancing innovative treatments for severe diseases. http://www.pureosbio.com/en/
About BPI France and InnoBio 2
Bpifrance is the French national investment bank: it finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extra financial services (training, consultancy) to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export…).
InnoBio 2 is an investment fund dedicated to life sciences, managed by Bpifrance, which is also one of the LPs alongside Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim, Takeda, Ipsen and Servier. InnoBio 2, with a first closing at €135 million, aims to invest in companies developing innovative products and services, close to or in early clinical development, with the objective of bringing them until the clinical proof of concept. InnoBio 2 takes minority equity stake in companies and can lead or co-lead the investment rounds. For more information, please visit: www.bpifrance.fr and presse.bpifrance.fr – Follow us on Twitter: @Bpifrance @BpifrancePresse
About Schroder Adveq
Schroder Adveq, founded in 1997 is a leading asset manager investing globally in private equity, having USD 10 billion of assets under management. Schroder Adveq’s client base comprises institutional investors such as pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, family offices, and other financial institutions located in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Schroder Adveq has offices in Zurich, Frankfurt, London, Jersey, New York, Beijing, and Hong Kong. https://www.schroderadveq.com/site/
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven startups. With EUR 892.5 million in total investment volume across three funds and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge more than 530 startups since 2005. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech startups in a range of sectors, including software, media, internet, hardware, automation, health care, chemistry and life sciences. To date, external investors have injected over EUR 2 billion into the HTGF portfolio via about 1,400 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 100 companies. For more information: www.htgf.de/en