PEP-Therapy, a biotechnology company developing cell penetrating peptides as targeted therapies for the treatment of cancers, announced today that it raised an additional €2.6 million ($3 million) in an extension of its Series A financing round, bringing the total raised in this round to €5.4 million ($6.4 million). This new funding comprises €1.6 million in equity from Anaxago, i&i Prague and BADGE as well as a €1 million loan from Bpifrance. This increased financial support highlights the potential of PEP-010, as well as PEP-Therapy’s Cell Penetrating & Interfering Peptide (CP&IP) technology platform, which was first developed at Sorbonne University and Institut Curie.
PEP-010 is the first of a new class of therapeutic peptides based on PEP-Therapy’s innovative Cell Penetrating & Interfering Peptide (CP&IP) technology. These innovative molecules penetrate cells and specifically block relevant intracellular protein-protein interactions, leading to the inhibition of key pathological mechanisms, without altering physiological mechanisms.
PEP-Therapy will use the funds to finance the Phase I a/b clinical trial of PEP-010, PEP-Therapy’s lead candidate, for the treatment of advanced solid tumors. The first part of the Series A, which closed in April 2021, will finance the Phase Ia dose escalation part of the study, with the additional funds being used for the development of PEP-010 until the end of the expansion cohorts, Phase Ib.
PEP-Therapy expects to generate promising clinical data from this study, particularly in two indications: metastatic triple negative breast cancer and platinum resistant ovarian cancer. Patients with these two types of solid tumors have a poor prognosis and limited therapeutic alternatives.
Antoine Prestat, CEO and co-founder of PEP-Therapy, said: “We are delighted to have completed this financing round via an attractive balance of dilutive and non-dilutive funds from new high quality and diversified investors who will bring expertise and new insights to support our development.”
Jaromír Zahrádka, PhD, CEO of i&i, commented: “PEP-Therapy has developed an extensive knowledge of targeted peptides and the promising preclinical data the company has generated show great potential. We are looking forward to seeing the confirmation of the positive results seen in preclinical data in the upcoming Phase I study.”
Gaston Vasseur, Investment Manager at Anaxago, added “This extended financing highlights PEPTherapy’s capacity to attract highly specialized as well as diversified investors. The Company has managed to rapidly secure the funding for the Phase I trial with PEP-010, a very important milestone for the company. We are happy to contribute to this financing round in conjunction with a number of experienced life science investors.”
In addition, PEP-Therapy and its clinical partners, Institut Curie and Gustave Roussy, previously received a €2.9 million grant from the French state innovation fund – Fonds Unique Interministériel (FUI) – to finance nonclinical and early clinical development of PEP-010.
Founded in 2012, Anaxago Venture Capital is a digital VC firm specialised in Healthtech & Biotech, Proptech, Fintech and Impact investing. Anaxago Venture Capital has financed more than 45 companies since its creation.
Business Angels des Grandes Ecoles (BADGE), created in 2004, is a leading French Business Angels association with more than 280 members, and having participated in 21 fundraisings in 2020 of a combined value of over €5.3 million. Its members are recognized leaders in all sectors of the industry and are willing to finance and support young innovative companies with high growth potential.
BADG aims to:
- Identify and review promising innovative projects
- Conduct fund-raising for the most promising ones
- Support the entrepreneurs with individualized business advice and key contacts
- Provide training and methodological support to its members
BADGE has thus financed more than 185 young companies since its creation.