AlzProtect Raises EUR 2 Million In Series A Financing

Published: Jun 11, 2014

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Lille, France – June 11, 2014 – ALZPROTECT, a biopharmaceutical company involved in the development of new therapeutic solutions in the neurodegenerative diseases area, announced today the completion of a €2 million series A financing round. This round of €2 million gathered some historical shareholders (Finovam and Nord France Amorçage) and private investors. This round has been matched by an additional €1 million support from Bpifrance in the form of subsidies and refundable advance payments.

The funding raised will allow ALZPROTECT to accelerate the development of its drug candidate AZP2006 by financing a first clinical trial with healthy volunteers. This first study should be followed by a Phase 2 in the field of the frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which is in some ways similar to Alzheimer’s disease. The FTD is particularly invalidating and remain orphan of any treatment.

The drug candidate AZP2006 acts on the main characteristics of the represented neurodegenerative diseases, in the case of the Alzheimer's disease, by the toxic forms derived of proteins Tau and APP (Amyloid Precursor Protein). The proof-of-concept studies on animal models demonstrated protective and preventive effects on the one or the other way of induction (APP or Tau) by revealing very encouraging harmlessness characteristics. So AZP2006 should enter Phase I of clinical trials during summer, 2014. Its therapeutic potential would afterward be widened in other major pathologies linked to the neuronal death.

Pierre Besançon, business angel, declared: " I decided to bring my support for ALZPROTECT for simultaneously scientific, medical, economic and strategic reasons. Scientific thanks to the multiple mechanisms of action of the molecule, in particular on the autophagy and on the Abeta, which multiply its chances of therapeutic success. Medical reasons since the recorded protection of the memory and learning functions on the animal models is spectacular. Economic and strategic finally because AZP2006 is a " small molecule ", not a protein, not insuperable to make, to keep and to administer, whose projected developments gives hope for a reasonable deadline for return on investment. The strategy of ALZPROTECT, based on a moderated cash-burn, is clear, and its environment seems to be very favorable ".

Philippe Moons, member of the executive board of Finovam added: « Our regional fund is very proud to pursue our support of ALZPROTECT, a biotech company arisen from the regional research. In a few years, its management team gathered renowned clinicians and especially validated an original scientific approach, protected by several international patents. On this strong basis, AZP2006 and the other lead coumpounds of ALZPROTECT have a very interesting potential to draw the attention of big pharmas committed in the field of the neurodegenerative diseases ".

Philippe Verwaerde, CEO of ALZPROTECT concluded: « This first round of financing rewards our continuous efforts to conceive and develop innovative therapeutic solutions in the particularly complex area of the neurodegenerative diseases. All preclinical data on AZP 2006 confirm for the moment its huge potential in several indications (FTD, Alzheimer, Parkinson, Huntington, SLA) thanks to a totally new mechanism of action, which is very differentiating by acting both on the protein Tau and on the Amyloid way. I still thank our historic shareholders as well as Pierre Besançon for their voluntarism to raise quickly ALZPROTECT among the most leading companies in the field of the neurodegenerative diseases ".

ALZPROTECT is advised by Dr John Tchelingerian, Managing Partner de Silver Ocean Ventures.

About the frontotemporal dementia:
The frontotemporal dementia (FTD) represents neurodegenerative pathologies characterized by associated disorders of behavior and language with a deterioration of the intellectual abilities qualified as "dementia" or as "aphasia" for the most severe cases. They result from a progressive alteration of the frontal and temporal brain lobes. This alteration of the brain cells arises commonly between 50 and 60 years. In France, we consider at approximately 6.000 people affected by FTD. In the world, the FDT represents 8 to 10 % of all the dementia. From the moment the disease is diagnosed, the average life expectancy is of decade. At the moment, there is no treatment allowing to cure or to slow down the evolution of the FTD.

Finovam is the seed fund of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, arisen from the merger of the regional funds Finorpa and Inovam. With €15 million under management, it joins in the will of the Region to stimulate the innovation and thus wants to strengthen the financing of innovative projects (especially technological) and to accompany over time the higher potential projects. The firm intervenes during first round of financing and can pursue its support during successive rounds.

About Nord France Amorçage:
Nord France Amorçage is a venture capital company carried by the Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Under the leadership of Étienne Vervaecke, managing director of the Park Eurasanté, it is financed by €5 million for 2013 and 2014 (the Region brings 20 %, Europe 80 % via the program FEDER). It aims at supporting the innovative start-ups by bringing them stockholders' equity for an amount from €25.000 to 500.000.

Created in 2007, ALZPROTECT is a biopharmaceutical company stemming from works of Dr André Delacourte, one of the pioneers in the Alzheimer’s disease research, and Prof. Patricia Melnyk, expert in medicinal chemistry, in association with the University of Lille 2 and INSERM.
Based on Eurasanté Park, ALZPORTECT is committed in the development of innovative therapeutic solutions in the field of the neurodegenerative diseases. Its most advanced drug candidate, AZP2006, obtained several preclinical proofs of concept in the treatment of the frontotemporal dementia and the Alzheimer's disease.

The company employs 9 employees and benefits from the support of Bpifrance and from the ANR. ALZPROTECT intends to value its molecules in the form of license from the Phase I of clinical trials.

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