EIT Health-supported start-up, Arthex Biotech, has successfully closed a EUR 42 million Series B financing round. Prior to attracting these funds, the Valencia-based clinical-stage biotech start-up received an EIC accelerator grant, having been fast-tracked through EIT Health support.
The successful Series B funding round was led by Columbus Venture Partners, with the participation of the European Innovation Council fund (EIC), Hadean Ventures, Sound Bioventures, and existing investors Invivo Capital, AdBio Partners, and CDTI (Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology), through its Innvierte programme. Arthex Biotech’s mission is to investigate innovative treatments through the modulation of microRNAs to address unmet medical needs. The Series B proceeds will be used to advance its lead compound, ATX-01, an antimiR designed to target microRNA 23b (miR-23b), to a Phase I/IIa clinical trial for the treatment of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1).
miR-23b is known to be associated with regulating the expression of MBNL protein involved in the pathogenesis of DM1, a devastating, rare neuromuscular disorder that causes muscle weakness and other life-limiting complications. There are currently no disease-modifying treatments for DM1. The symptoms of DM1 can vary widely in severity and age of onset, but typically include muscle weakness and wasting, myotonia (delayed relaxation of muscles), cataracts, cardiac abnormalities, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal issues, and cognitive and behavioural impairment.
EIT Health has helped Arthex develop and scale as a start-up company.
Dr. Beatriz Llamusí, CSO and co-founder of Arthex Biotech and former CEO
The company has recently received valuable mentoring and individualised support from EIT Health experts through the EIT Health Fast Track pilot programme. This helped them gain EIC accelerator funding. The EIT Health Fast Track pilot programme has been developed through the collaboration of EIT and EIC.
It helped Arthex Biotech to skip the first stage of the EIC Accelerator evaluation process and prepare their full application to the EIC Accelerator. This training contributed to Arthex' success in obtaining the EIC accelerator grant of EUR 2.5M.