Marseille, France, June 16, 2020 – DiogenX, a preclinical stage biotech company specializing in the development of pancreatic beta-cell modulators for the treatment of type one diabetes (T1D), today announces the successful completion of a seed financing round of €4.5 million ($4.8M) from an investment consortium comprised of Advent France Biotechnology (AFB), the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and the JDRF T1D Fund. The proceeds of the funding will be used to select DiogenX’s drug candidate and prepare preclinical development before the next round of Series A financing in late 2021.
Discovered in the laboratory of Dr. Patrick Collombat (Inserm, CNRS, Nice University) in France, DiogenX is developing an innovative therapy with the potential to be the first betacell regeneration drug for diabetes. Therapies that directly modify beta-cell biology can halt and may even reverse the loss of function that occurs in T1D.
In 2019, approximately 463 million adults between the ages of 20-79 were living with diabetes. In the same year, diabetes was the cause of 4.2 million deaths and accounted for €700 billion ($760bn) in health expenditure – 10% of total health spending on adults. By 2045 it is estimated that prevalence in adults will rise to 700 million1 . There are currently no approved disease modifying therapies for T1D, despite today 18 million people worldwide living with T1D2 .
“For decades the wider scientific community has been looking for therapies to regenerate beta cells. So far, none have been available to patients, said Benjamin Charles, CEO of DiogenX. “DiogenX’s will be the only off-the-shelf drug that is capable of recovering the full beta-cell mass in the short-term. Our ultimate mission is to markedly reduce the burden of frequent insulin injections.”
“We are very happy to be part of this new adventure. We worked with the founders before the inception of DiogenX and we believe these therapies have excellent potential,” said Matthieu Coutet, Managing Partner at AFB.
“We are thrilled to support DiogenX in its effort to develop what could be the first beta cell regenerative therapy for patients with T1D, said Katie Ellias, Managing Director at the JDRF T1D Fund. “The T1D Fund looks forward to collaborating with the company and our co-investors to bring this potential breakthrough therapy to the market.”
“BIVF is pleased to contribute to the creation of DiogenX,” said Johannes Zanzinger, Investment Director at BIVF. “If the preclinical in-vivo regeneration data translates into humans, the technology has the potential to be a game changer in the way diabetes is being treated. We look forward to working with DiogenX’s team to support its growth and help further realize the technology’s potential.”
In conjunction with the financing, Matthieu Coutet, Johannes Zanzinger and Katie Ellias have joined DiogenX’s Board of Directors.
Legal advisors for DiogenX: Anthony Paronneau, Fanny Rech, McDermott Will & Emery
Legal advisors for JDFR T1D: Frédéric Lerner, Pierre Hesnault, Orsay