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  • Funding to bring DM1 Candidate to Clinical Trials
    Alain Huriez

Funding to bring DM1 Candidate to Clinical Trials

Jul 31 2020 Read 301 Times

Preclinical stage life sciences company Arthex Biotech, focused on developing next generation antisense RNA therapies for the treatment of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1), has closed a funding round of €4.25 million ($4.9M). This completes an initial seed round of €2.7 million ($3.1M) brought by Invivo and CDTI-Innvierte in December 2019 and in June 2020 respectively. The total funds raised by Arthex since inception are now €6.95 million ($8M).

The new funding, provided by Advent France Biotechnology (AFB) and Invivo Ventures, will bring Arthex’s therapy to first-in-human trial readiness by 2022; on completion of the ongoing optimisation of the drug candidate and subsequent preclinical regulatory studies.
DM1 is a neuromuscular disease with genetic origin and is considered an orphan disease. So far, no suitable treatment has been developed.

Valencia-based Arthex was co-founded by Dr. Rubén Artero and Dr. Beatriz Llamusí in September 2019, with the support of seed funding from Invivo Ventures, to translate to the bedside a promising RNA therapy invented by the Translational Genomics research group at the University of Valencia. Proof of concept in an animal model of the disease has been published(1) and the therapy was patented and licensed to Arthex by the University of Valencia.

In conjunction with the financing, Alain Huriez, chairman and managing partner at AFB, will join Arthex’s board of directors, alongside the managing partners of Invivo Ventures, Luis Pareras and Albert Ferrer.

“Welcoming Dr. Huriez from AFB is an outstanding opportunity for us. The company is highly specialized in drug development with biotechnology start-ups,” said Dr. Beatriz Llamusi, co-founder and CEO of Arthex. “What I value most is the broad experience and expertise that Dr Huriez and his team bring with them.”

“Arthex Biotech represents a unique combination of world-class science and entrepreneurial skills, translating great discoveries into potential breakthrough therapeutic outcomes for DM1 patients,” said Alain Huriez, MD, PhD, chairman at AFB. “We are proud and honoured to join Invivo Ventures in this venture.”

“With more than a dozen RNA therapies being tested in clinical trials, the field is gaining momentum and many patients with previously untreatable conditions have cause for optimism. We are very proud to join forces with Advent France Biotechnology to bring Arthex’s RNA therapy to first-in-human trials,” said Luis Pareras, MD, PhD, and Albert Ferrer, founding partners at Invivo Ventures. “We look forward to partnering with them and making the company a success story for DM1 patients.”

(1). Published in Nature Communications

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