Yukin Therapeutics raises €3.3 million to develop new cancer treatments
- Yukin Therapeutics develops kinase inhibitors specifically targeting the NIK protein, known for its role in the development and aggressive progression of several cancers
- The funds raised will enable Yukin Therapeutics to optimize its proprietary molecules and identify a first drug candidate
Press release in PDF
Sophia-Antipolis, June 4th 2019 – Yukin Therapeutics, a French company specializing in the development of new molecules for cancer treatment, has completed a €3.3 million financing round for the development and optimization of its proprietary therapeutic molecules. Advent France Biotechnology, a major player in life sciences investments, led this round with Medicxi, a leading life sciences focused investment firm based in London, Jersey and Geneva.
Yukin Therapeutics develops kinase inhibitors and was formed to develop the exciting work of two research laboratories based in Nice, supported by the SATT Sud-Est (Société d’Accélération du Transfert de Technologies Sud-Est). Kinases are a family of proteins involved in many cellular processes including proliferation. A deregulation in kinases activity plays a strong role in the occurrence and aggressive nature of many cancers.
The company specifically targets the NIK protein (NF-κB inducing kinase), a recognized therapeutic target involved in the aggressiveness of cancer cells. The NIK kinase inhibition by the pharmacological approach of Yukin Therapeutics has strong potential to result in the effective treatment of several types of cancer, including skin and pancreatic cancers.
Yukin Therapeutics obtained proof of concept in animals, demonstrating the efficacy of its first-in-class NIK kinase inhibitors. These studies demonstrate a significant reduction in tumor volume in animals treated with NIK kinase inhibitor compounds and show a synergy with the administration of antibodies specific to the PD1 molecule, a standard of care in immuno-oncology. One of the qualities of the molecules developed by Yukin Therapeutics is their ability to deeply modify the microenvironment of the tumor, allowing the immune system to better identify the cancer cell in order to destroy it.
The company now wants to accelerate development of its therapeutic molecules in order to identify its first drug candidate ahead of launching a clinical trial by 2022.
"This fundraising, thanks to the continued support of Advent France Biotechnology and now Medicxi, will enable Yukin Therapeutics to accelerate development of its molecules. Our aim is to identify a first drug candidate and thus contribute to the discovery of new treatment strategies in oncology”, commented Arnaud Foussat, Chief Executive Officer of Yukin Therapeutics. “We are convinced that the unique mode of action of our NIK kinase inhibitors will be key in the development of new therapies with real clinical benefit in a large number of cancers. We are now eager to test the efficacy of our molecules, alone or in combination with baseline immunotherapies.”
About Yukin Therapeutics:
Yukin Therapeutics is a French biotechnology company founded in 2018 in Nice, France by Advent France BIotechnology and the SATT Sud-Est. The company focuses on the development of new therapeutic molecules, entitled kinase inhibitors, specifically targeting a protein involved in the development of several types of cancer: the NIK protein (NF-κB inducing kinase). Yukin Therapeutics led studies that demonstrated proof of concept in animal models and is now actively seeking to identify a first drug candidate to launch a clinical trial in oncology.
About Advent France Biotechnology: www.adventFB.com
Advent France Biotechnology is an AMF regulated firm created in 2016. The team, managed by Alain Huriez and Matthieu Coutet, includes professionals with extensive scientific, medical and operational experience, as well as a long-standing track record of entrepreneurial and investment successes across Europe. Advent France Biotechnology invests in a range of sectors within the life sciences, specifically in drug discovery and new medical technologies.
About Medicxi: www.medicxi.com
Medicxi is based in London, Geneva and Jersey. The firm's mission is to invest across the full healthcare continuum. Medicxi was established by the former Index Ventures life sciences team and continues to manage the legacy life sciences portfolio of Index Ventures. Medicxi has also recently launched two new funds - Medicxi Ventures 1 (MV1) and Medicxi Growth 1 (MG1) – that focus respectively on early-stage and late-stage investments in life sciences.
GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Novartis, three of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies back Medicxi along with Verily, an Alphabet company. These companies, whilst participating in the SABs of the Medicxi funds, do not receive any preferential rights to the portfolio companies.
Medicxi’s team has been investing in life sciences for over 20 years and has backed many successful companies, including Genmab (NASDAQ Copenhagen: GEN), PanGenetics (sold to AbbVie), Micromet (sold to Amgen), Molecular Partners (SWX: MOLN), XO1 (sold to Janssen), Minerva Neurosciences (NASDAQ: NERV), Padlock Therapeutics (sold to Bristol-Myers Squibb) and Impact Biomedicines (sold to Celgene).
Please see www.medicxi.com for more information.