FRANCE – Ribonexus, a biotechnology start-up developing new therapies to overcome resistance to current targeted therapies in cancer patients, has received €2 million ($2.19 million) in funding from Bpifrance, the French public investment bank.

This funding, made possible by the French government’s ‘Deeptech Plan,’ will allow Ribonexus to select the best drug candidate for preclinical development and leverage its proprietary platform based on a key selective pathway.

Established in 2019, the Deeptech plan is comprised of funds worth 2.5 billion euros (US$2.72 billion) over five years, with the objective of financing the creation of 500 startups each year.

The French government’s ‘Future Investments Program’ will provide the company with two installments: €1.4m (US$1.53m) in the form of a repayable advance and €600k (US$658k) in grants.

While targeted therapies have clearly improved cancer patient outcomes, their overall efficacy decreases over time as patients develop resistance to these treatments.

Ribonexus (previously Aglaia Therapeutics) is developing new oncology therapies to deliver drugs that restore sensitivity to current targeted therapies in cancer patients who have become resistant to these treatments in an effort to address the issue.

The additional funding will allow the company to develop new therapies that will overcome resistance to current targeted therapies in cancer patients.

Currently, the company’s R&D programs are focused on the treatment of melanoma. It intends to use its early-stage oncology pipeline and expertise in the future to evaluate and expand its programs beyond melanoma to treat other cancer indications.

Based on the clinical data generated by the elongation factor 4A (eIF4A) inhibitor program, the company hopes to enter into a licensing agreement with a pharmaceutical or biopharma company.

Alejo Chorny, COO, Ribonexus said: “Following our recent partnership with the pharmaceutical group Pierre Fabre, this funding is a clear recognition of the high potential of our pipeline.

We aim to restore sensitivity and avoid resistance to current targeted therapies to dramatically improve the standard of care in cancer patients.”

In March, Bpifrance invested €1.37 million (approximately US$1.5 million) in SeaBeLife, a biotech company developing drug candidates to prevent cell necrosis.

SeaBeLife will be able to use the funds to develop drug candidates that have the unique ability to inhibit necroptosis and ferroptosis at the same time.

The goal is to protect or regenerate organs damaged by severe pathologies for which there are currently no effective treatments.

Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE