Investment takes Stem Cell Development towards Mass Production
Jun 14 2019 Read 507 Times
A Series A funding round that raised €7.1M ($7.8M), has set Treefrog Therapeutics (Bordeaux) pathway for the transition of its C-Stem™ technology to cGMP standards by 2021, with the development of proprietary and collaborative cell therapy research programs in a wide array of indications (Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, diabetes, NASH…) with the objective of a first-in-man clinical trial in 2024.
The funding round was led by French-German venture capital team XAnge (Siparex Group), joined by private equity fund Galia Gestion as a new investor and historical investors from the earlier seed funding round, Irdi Soridec, Aquiti Gestion and SATT Aquitaine.
In addition to attracting €6.5M ($7.2M) in equity, TreeFrog Therapeutics was granted a further€600k ($670k) non-dilutive funding in March by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, Bpifrance and the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. Over the past four years, the project has already received a total of €3M ($3.3M) from the University of Bordeaux, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the Technology Transfer Office for the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, France (AST Innovations).
The company’s key proprietary technology has shown some promising results for the mass production of stem cells with short lead times. The first batch of 143 million human IPS cells were reportedly amplified in only seven days - without about ten times higher than current industry standards - and genomic integrity proved 100% preserved by the Imagine Institute in Paris.
“This Series A round marks the culmination of a global fundraising effort, which includes seed capital and non-dilutive funds, to the amount of approximately €8M ($9M). We now have the resources to meet our milestones, build our capacities and secure our plan for growth. In addition to the investors who have put their trust in us, we are very grateful to the French Investment Bank Bpifrance, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Council, the bioproduction school ENSTBB and the UNITEC incubator for their support,” said Maxime Feyeux, president, CSO, TreeFrog Therapeutics.
“I am delighted to complete this funding cycle so quickly. Within the past six months, we have been approached by several big pharma companies to develop novel cell therapy programs. Now, all the lights are green as we move forward with our partners with the aim of a first-in-man clinical trial within three to five years,” said Kevin Alessandri, CEO & CTO, TreeFrog Therapeutics.
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