The company pioneers a novel modality in drug development to develop a complete new class of antibiotics and first in class therapeutics against high value typical undruggable human targets. The technology, branded Pept-insTM, harnesses the power of protein aggregation to specifically induce a functional knockdown of a target protein. Aelin Therapeutics was founded by VIB and its partner universities KU Leuven, VUB, UGent, based on the ground-breaking work of renowned structural biologists Prof Joost Schymkowitz and Prof Frederic Rousseau. Aelin Therapeutics raised €27 million in a Series A financing round in December 2017 with a strong investor syndicate including LSP (the Netherlands), PMV (Belgium), Novartis Venture Fund (Switzerland), Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (Germany) and Fund+ (Belgium).
Year of investment: 2017; BIVF Board Representative: Frank Kalkbrenner
ArmaGen Technologies, Inc. is a developer of platform technology solutions to the blood-brain barrier problems. ArmaGen develops recombinant protein therapeutics targeting diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), which are engineered to penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Its molecular trojan horse technology has the potential to re-engineer recombinant proteins for BBB penetration for the treatment of brain and spinal cord diseases. Initially, the company will focus on orphan diseases of the CNS with lead biopharmaceuticals for Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) Type I, or Hurler’s syndrome and MPS Type II, or Hunter’s disease. ArmaGen is based in Calabasas/US.
Year of investment: 2012; BIVF Board Representative: Martin Heidecker
Eyevensys S.A.S. is a developer of a new non-viral gene therapy process to treat ocular illnesses. The new process enables prolonged production of therapeutic proteins through injection and electrotransfer of expression plasmids into the ciliar muscle and is aimed at treating uveitis and AMD. In stage two, Eyevensys will focus on treating more common conditions such as diabetic retinopathy.The company was founded in Paris (France) in 2009 by Francine Behar-Cohen, professor of medicine at Paris Descartes University, head of ophthalmology at l'Hotel Dieu.
Year of investment: 2013; BIVF Board Representative: Johannes Zanzinger
Topas Therapeutics is a private Hamburg-based biotechnology company focused on developing peptide-loaded nanoparticles to address immuno-tolerization of major unmet clinical need, including autoimmune diseases, allergies and anti-drug antibodies. Topas’ technology platform induces antigen-specific immune tolerance by harnessing the liver’s natural immuno-tolerizing capabilities.
Year of investment: 2017; BIVF Board Representative: Detlev Mennerich