Advent France Biotechnology and Invivo back Arthex Biotech

Biotech

Advent France Biotechnology and Invivo Ventures have invested EUR4.25 million into Valencia-based Arthex Biotech, a pre-clinical stage life sciences company focused on the development of next generation antisense RNA therapies.

The latest round follows on from an initial seed round of EUR2.7 million by Invivo and CDTI-Innvierte in December 2019, and in June 2020 respectively. The total amount raised by Arthex since inception now stands at EUR6.95 million. The fresh capital will enable Arthex to complete its first-in-human trial by 2022. 

“Arthex Biotech represents a unique combination of world-class science and entrepreneurial skills, translating great discoveries into potential breakthrough therapeutic outcomes for DM1 patients,” said Alain Huriez, MD, PhD, chairman at AFB.

The company aims to develop an antisense RNA therapy against miRNAs for type 1 Myotonic Dystrophy. DM1 is a neuromuscular disease with genetic origin and is considered an orphan disease. There is no cure on the market for this disease yet.

The therapy was patented and licensed to Arthex by the University of Valencia. In connection with the deal, Alain Huriez, chairman and managing partner at AFB, will join Arthex’s board of directors, alongside the managing partners of Invivo Ventures, Luis Pareras and Albert Ferrer.

“The company is highly specialised in drug development with biotechnology start-ups,” said Dr Beatriz Llamusi, co-founder and CEO of Arthex. “What I value most is the broad experience and expertise that Dr Huriez and his team bring with them,” she added. 

Arthex was co-founded by Dr Rubén Artero and Dr Llamusí in September 2019, with the support of seed funding from Invivo Ventures, to develop a promising RNA therapy invented by the Translational Genomics research group at the University of Valencia. Proof of concept in an animal model of the disease has been published in the peer-review journal Nature Communications.