EVRY, France, January 29 /PRNewswire/ -- DNA Therapeutics, an emerging biopharmaceutical company specialized in the development of innovat0ive medicines in oncology, announces the successful closing of its Series A equity investment round. The investor syndicate led by SGAM SEFTI with two of the previous seed investors, Blue Medical Investments and G1J-Ile de France, is committed to invest 2.2 million EUR based on certain milestones to be met. Since June 2008, DNA Therapeutics has raised 3 million EUR (US$4 million) through the current Series A and the previous seed financing round led by Inserm-Transfert Initiative.
The funds will enable DNA Therapeutics to advance the vectorization and the additional proofs of concept, and to achieve regulatory preclinical studies of its lead product, named Dbait. DNA Therapeutics is developing a new class of drugs fighting tumor resistance to conventional therapies. In current cancer treatment, the effectiveness of radiotherapy and chemotherapy are often limited by the action of DNA repair processes on the damages caused by these therapies. The innovative aspect of siDNA (signal interfering DNA) technology developed in DNA Therapeutics is to use a short fragment of DNA, a mimetic of DNA damage, to interfere with the sensing and signaling of DNA damages in the nucleus, and ultimately, inhibit their repair during the treatment period. Thus siDNA increases the effectiveness of radiotherapy and chemotherapy without adding any cytotoxic effect. The company possesses a portfolio of exclusive worldwide licenses resulting from the pioneering work of its founding scientists at the Institut Curie, the CNRS, the INSERM (French NIH) and the French National Museum of Natural History.
Prof. Jian-Sheng Sun, co-founder, Chairman and CEO commented: "We are delighted to have received this significant investment from SGAM SEFTI that is strongly committed to support Life Science innovation at early stage in France and in Europe, and that shares our business vision and values the potential of our drug development based on our unique proprietary siDNA technology. This financing will allow DNA Therapeutics to move ahead with an aggressive timeline for the preclinical development of Dbait which will enter into phase I/II clinical trial by the end of 2010."
"Since January 2006, we have been carrying out fundamental work consisting of creating and shaping our company portfolio to meet SEFTI's objectives. This effort has resulted in an original portfolio companies, mainly in France and Switzerland, close to clinical stage, and attractive to big biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Adding DNA Therapeutics, which develops a breakthrough treatment in oncology, to SEFTI's portfolio companies, is in line with our innovative investment strategy. Today, SGAM SEFTI has already invested, or is ready to invest in near term, more than half of the fund's commitments," said Beatrice Denys, manager of the fund. "The life of the fund is entering a second phase in which one of our priorities will be to endeavor to demonstrate the validity of our investment choices, notably through the emphasis placed on organizing output," added Eric Viaud, exclusive advisor of SEFTI.
About DNA Therapeutics
DNA Therapeutics SA (http://www.dna-therapeutics.com) headquartered in the Genopole biocluster (Evry, France) was founded in June 2006. Its original siDNA technology consists in interfering with DNA repair pathways that cancer cells use to resist radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Its lead product, Dbait, will be first administered locally in combination with radiotherapy in selected indications where radiotherapy is used as standard of care but fails due to radio-resistance. After its first clinical validation, the systemic administration of Dbait will expand its scope to all indications currently treated by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The ability of siDNA to improve therapeutic efficacy without additional cytotoxicity has potential to extend the market for radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It is anticipated that DNA Therapeutics will have a pipeline with products at different stages of development within the next 5 years, throughout balanced proprietary and partnered programs, thus achieving rapidly significant value creation and providing the exit opportunity for its initial investors.
About SGAM SEFTI
SGAM SEFTI (Specialized European fund for Therapeutic Innovation) is a venture fund dedicated to investments in unlisted French and European companies operating principally in the pharmaceutical field and in medico-surgical applications. The fund acquires interests in the firms which it accompanied through the set-up stage in order to develop and increase the value of innovative therapeutic projects coming mainly from academic research in France, Switzerland and Italy. SGAM SEFTI investment is focused in target companies at an initial stage of development and which have further development opportunities with the potential to provide a capital gain in the medium term through licensing and sale.
Prof. Jian-Sheng Sun, Ph.D.
Chairman and CEO
Dr. Beatrice Denys, M.D., MBA
Manager of the fund