Pharnext puts together €2.5M to fund development of Pleodrug for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

Pharnext SAS, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of innovative treatments based on Pleotherapy™ for severe neurological diseases, today announced that it has put together a €2.5 million round of financing (corresponding to a pre-money company valuation of €60 million).

“We are delighted to provide Pharnext with additional investment and thus to contribute to the company's development work on its potentially revolutionary treatments for neurodegenerative, metabolic and inflammatory diseases.”

The round of financing has attracted the following investors:

  • Parinvest, a company controlled by Rallye, the holding company for the Casino supermarket group (CEO: Jean-Charles Naouri).
  • La Financière Gaspard, managed by Georges Sampeur (Chairman of the B&B Hotel Group).
  • Truffle Capital, a leading European private equity firm managed by Philippe Pouletty MD.

The round should close by the end of the year and is likely to raise close to €10 million for Pharnext.

This round of financing will fund the continuing clinical development of Pharnext's Pleodrug™ for Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease (PXT3003, which went into Phase II trials with patients suffering from type 1A CMT disease in December 2010). Pharnext will also pursue its discovery projects and develop innovative treatments based on molecular networks that are disrupted in neurological or metabolic diseases.

Pharnext's founder and CEO Professor Daniel Cohen commented: "We are very pleased to welcome Parinvest and La Financière Gaspard as investors and also wish to thank our existing shareholders for their unconditional support. This fundraising exercise emphasizes our innovative approach, the response it may provide for the ongoing innovation crisis in the pharmaceutical industry and the progress we have achieved with our first Pleodrug™in Phase II for CMT. This round of fundraising will enable us to accelerate the first-in-man clinical trials of our Pleodrug™ in CMT and boost our research into the generation of other Pleodrugs™ for six other serious diseases, including Alzheimer's disease."

Pharnext co-founder and Truffle Capital CEO Dr. Philippe Pouletty added: "We are delighted to provide Pharnext with additional investment and thus to contribute to the company's development work on its potentially revolutionary treatments for neurodegenerative, metabolic and inflammatory diseases."

The Pharnext approach

Pharnext focuses on meeting a range of medical needs, including diseases for which there is no satisfactory treatment. This is achieved by moving from conventional, single-drug therapy to Pleotherapy™. In fact, Pleotherapy™ involves a single, patented Pleodrug™ combining mini-doses of several off-patent drugs already approved by the health authorities for the treatment of diseases that are biologically but not clinically linked to the target indication. The company has created a very sophisticated Pleotherapy™ R&D structure and a powerful, proprietary Pleodrug™ discovery engine based on "NEXUS", a new, protected, genomic process that makes it possible to efficiently create Pleodrugs™ and which is applicable to most diseases.

Pharnext has particularly solid financial foundations:

- a €3.5-million round of seed fundraising with Truffle Capital (December 2007).

- an agreement with the pharmaceutical group Ipsen, potentially worth up to €94 million in upfront fees and milestone payments (June 2009).

- an initial grant from Oséo (the French state innovation agency) worth 3.4 million Euros (Charcot-Marie-Tooth, 2007).

- a grant from the French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM, 2009).

- the Project DIPPAL financed by ISI (OSEO's Strategic Manufacturing Innovation programme) to the tune of €10.4 million over 6 years, in order to deliver diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to patients with Alzheimer's disease. Pharnext is leading the DIPPAL project and will receive €7.3 million (November 2010).

- a €4.75 million round of financing (June 2010).



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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