BiPER Therapeutics Raises €1.25 Million in Seed Funding to Develop First-in-class Small Molecules to Treat Gastrointestinal Cancers
BiPER Therapeutics, a preclinical biotechnology company developing first-in-class drug candidates targeting BiP protein to treat gastrointestinal cancers, announces it has raised a total of €1.25 million ($1.35M) in seed funding. The company received €300k ($322k) in dilutive funds from WiSeed via WiClub Santé 2, €500k ($544k) in convertible bonds from Bpifrance, and €450k ($483k) in grants as part of the i-Lab innovation award and from the Grand Est region.
The funding will allow BiPER Therapeutics to work, over the next 15 months, on the preclinical development of its lead program, BPR001, a first-in-class BiP inhibitor, for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, and bring it to the Clinical Trial Application (CTA)/Investigational New Drug (IND) stages, with gastric cancer as the primary indication. It will also enable the company to advance its R&D programs in first-in-class Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) stress inducers. With an estimated one million cases worldwide and an annual projected increase of 2%, the gastric cancer market is evolving rapidly. Despite the arrival of immunotherapies as a first line treatment, there is still a high unmet medical need in this indication.
BiPER offers a unique approach to cancer treatment by developing a first-in-class molecule targeting BiP, a key protein involved in cancer cell survival. The therapeutic interest in this target has been validated by several in vivo and in vitro proof of concept studies. BPR001 has already demonstrated efficacy in vivo as a single agent and in combination with chemotherapies and immunotherapies. To eliminate tumors, it pushes the cancer cells to ‘burn out’ by selectively inducing strong and unsolvable stress in tumors.
“Stephane Rocchi, Rachid Benhida, Cyril Ronco and myself have developed a drug candidate that has enormous potential as a new therapeutic solution for those patients resistant to standard treatments, who represent around 50% of gastrointestinal cancer patients,” said Mehdi Chelbi, co-founder and CEO of BiPER Therapeutics. “I would also like to thank our great team and Zaki Sellam, managing partner at Landmark Bioventure, for their valuable support in the success of this seed round. This funding will bolster our efforts to advance the preclinical development of BPR001 to the CTA/IND stages. In parallel, we have started a Series A funding round to help finance the early clinical phases.”
Alongside the funding, BiPER welcomes Guillaume Vetter-Genoud, director of Quest for health, to the board. “With our partners Wiseed, we’re proud to be able to support a promising start-up like BiPER Therapeutics. The identification of new therapeutic agents with an original mode of action is fundamental to circumventing the resistance phenomena in standard-of-care treatment,” said Guillaume.
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