INTEGRA TX SECURES €4.5 MILLION IN FUNDING FROM ADVENT FRANCE BIOTECHNOLOGY, INVIVO CAPITAL AND TAKEDA VENTURES.
The biotechnology company, which specialises in gene editing and was founded by researchers Marc Güell and Avencia Sánchez-Mejías of Pompeu Fabra University, got its start in Barcelona
The investment will be used to develop an innovative gene editing platform with the potential to make advanced therapies safer and more effective
Barcelona, 2 December 2021. Integra Therapeutics (Integra Tx), a biotechnology company that is creating next-generation gene editing tools to boost the efficiency and safety of advanced therapies, has completed its first round of funding for €4.5 million with Advent France Biotechnology (France), Invivo Capital (Spain) and Takeda Ventures (USA).
Integra Tx was founded in late 2020 as a spin-off of Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) based on technology developed in the Translational Synthetic Biology Lab led by Dr Marc Güell (EMBO Young Investigator, National Research Award for Young Talent and co-founder of two biotech firms).
The great potential of this novel gene writing technology lies in the fact that it resolves some of the main technical limitations of gene therapy: it can be used to paste DNA sequences of any size gene with high precision. Advanced therapies are one of the pillars of the medicine of the future and are aimed at both preventing and treating genetic and oncological diseases that, for now, are incurable.
The funds raised in this round will allow Integra Tx to complete the prototype of the new gene editing technology platform, carry out preclinical validation using in vivo and ex vivo models, and manage its patent portfolio in 2022 and 2023. After that, the company plans to open a Series A round to seek regulatory approval and carry out clinical trials with patients.
“We’re very proud to be transferring our scientific knowledge and technological skills in gene editing from the lab to society. We thank all our investors for their commitment to Integra Tx and to making advanced therapies safer and more effective, and getting them to patients that urgently need them,” says Dr Avencia Sánchez-Mejías, co-founder and CEO of Integra Tx. Sánchez-Mejías joined the UPF Translational Synthetic integra-tx.com
Biology Lab in 2018 after doing research at the Institute of Biomedicine of Seville, the National University of Singapore and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr Marc Güell, co-founder and CSO of Integra Tx, explains, “the Integra Tx technology platform is very promising because it is an evolution of the CRISPR-Cas techniques.
We’ve found a way to merge them with transposase and integrase proteins that have a great capacity for gene transfer and to not depend on viral vectors for transporting the components into the cell, which is a step forward in making these therapies safer.” Plus, it has applications both in vivo (directly in patients) and ex vivo (outside of patients). Matthieu Coutet, Managing Partner at Advent France Biotechnology, adds: “We decided to invest in Integra Tx because we believe in its seasoned scientific and management team. Its founders have shown a strong passion and ambition to move
Integra Tx’s technology forward, combined with a proven expertise in gene editing and advanced therapies.”
Dr Luis Pareras, Managing Partner at Invivo Capital, says: “We’re thrilled with the possibilities Integra Tx’s plataform can develop to solve the problem of cargo size in gene therapy. We’re also very pleased with the international syndicate supporting this seed round, in yet another example of technology transfer opportunity and the competitiveness of the biotech ecosystem in Spain.” Miles Gerson, Takeda Ventures Partner and Senior Investment Director, says: “Takeda Ventures is very excited to support Integra Tx and their next generation gene editing platform with many potential applications to benefit patients.”
About Integra Therapeutics
Integra Tx is a biotechnology company that is creating next-generation gene editing tools to make advanced therapies safer and more effective. The company was founded in 2020 as a spin-off of Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) by Dr Marc Güell and Dr Avencia Sánchez-Mejías and is based at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB). It is supported by international investors (Advent France Biotechnology, Invivo Capital and Takeda Ventures) and organisations in the healthcare and biomedicine sector (ACCIÓ-Government of Catalonia, Biocat, ”la Caixa” Foundation and Innovalora programme at UPF). More information: www.integra-tx.com
About Advent France Biotechnology
Advent France Biotechnology (AFB) is an AMF-regulated company that invests in a range of sectors within the life sciences, specifically in therapeutics-oriented projects. AFB’s unique strategy combines early-stage investments in promising enterprises and strong entrepreneurial support to strengthen the company’s growth. Created in 2016 in Paris, AFB has a strong entrepreneurial spirit; from the inception of its first fund in 2017, it now maintains 15 European investments in France, Belgium, Spain and Ireland.
AFB has developed strong relationships within the French innovation ecosystem; as a result, it has attracted international VC syndicates to its portfolio companies. The operational team is managed by Alain Huriez and Matthieu Coutet and has appointed a number of investment professionals with longintegra-tx.com standing track records in entrepreneurial ventures, combined with strong scientific and medical expertise. More information: www.adventfb.com
About Invivo Capital
Invivo Capital Partners is a Spanish venture capital firm founded by Dr Luis Pareras and Albert Ferrer, which manages Invivo Ventures FCR, a venture capital fund that invests in life science companies at an early stage. Invivo Ventures FCR has a majority of private investors with the support of a number of institutional investors such as the European Investment Fund (EIF), Fond-ICO Global, the the Catalan Finance Institute, the Valencia Institute of Finance and the Barcelona City Council. More information: https://invivo.capital
About Takeda Ventures
Takeda Ventures, Inc. (TVI) is the corporate venture capital group of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda), and was founded in 2001 with the vision of generating disruptive technologies and therapeutic solutions for patients through venture-based partnerships. TVI’s mission is to create strategic growth opportunities for Takeda by building, managing and investing in innovation-based companies. TVI partners with academic innovators, entrepreneurs and venture investors to create and nurture a portfolio of companies in an array of therapeutic areas, including oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system disorders. More information: www.takedaventures.com.
Nuevos informes y series de datos: El Capital riesgo Informal en España 2021 / Informe de Impacto Económico y Social del Capital Privado en las operaciones de Middle Market en España. 2018 (ASCRI) / Informe de Impacto Económico y Social de los préstamos otorgados por Enisa
Otros informes destacados: Madurez del Venture Capital en España. (English version)/ Financiación de startups de Energía en España / El tiempo de las desinversiones en Private Equity en España (English version)
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