In an effort to continue the development of its nutraceutical and drug pipeline, Biophytis, a research company that focuses on metabolic disorders and age-related diseases, has raised €2 million EUR ($2.6 million USD) in a B round. Metabrain Research, a spin-off of Merck Serono based in Chilly-Mazarin (south of Paris) joined existing investors Seventure partners and CM-CIC Capital Prive in this round.
Biophytis’ first project, SARCOB, targets the treatment of sarcopenic obesity, in partnership with the Myology Institute and Institute of Cardio-metabolism and Nutrition, both at the University of Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC), and France’s national agricultural research institute, INRA. The second project, MACULIA, focuses on treating age-related macular degeneration, in collaboration with UPMC’s Institut de la Vision and Iris Pharma, a contract research organization dedicated to ophthalmology. Biophytis leads these two projects, which are sponsored by the Medicen competitivity cluster in the Paris region and which benefit from grants of €2.3 million EUR from a number of European and French local and national government bodies.
“The arrival of Metabrain Research as a shareholder marks a step change in a partnership that we have pursued for several years in the SARCOB project,” said Stanislas Veillet, CEO and founder of Biophytis. “It will reinforce our capacity to develop drug candidates derived from our portfolio of nutraceutical active substances, with the aim of signing co-development contracts with pharmaceutical companies.”
“The worldwide market of nutrition, where food and drugs meet, has already reached EUR 120 billion annual revenues and is growing at ten per cent a year,” said Isabelle de Cremoux, general manager at Seventure partners. “This makes it very attractive to many industry players. Biophytis is a pioneer in this field and this financing will allow it to accelerate its development with a strategy targeting both drugs and nutrition.”
“We believe the strategic partnership between our two companies in both the scientific and marketing fields will allow us to develop a portfolio of innovative projects,” said Valerie Autier, CEO of Metabrain Research. “We will be able to offer full coverage of metabolic diseases through a joint nutraceutical and pharmaceutical approach.”
The French and European organizations that are providing grants to the SARCOB and MACULIA projects are FUI (Fonds Unique Interministeriel, a cross-ministry funding body), the European Regional Development Fund, the Essonne and Seine-Saint-Denis departments, the Ile de France region and the city of Paris.