ONCOLOGY, CHRONIC INFECTIOUS DISEASES AND AMYLOIDOSIS, THE FOCUS OF NEWS BIOVELOCITA’S PORTFOLIO
Milan, March 13, 2019 – BiovelocITA announces today the creation of a new project portfolio through the investment in Amypofarma, a spin-off of the University of Milan Bicocca, dedicated to the cure of amyloid disorders, and the in licensing of two projects respectively from Istituto Superiore di Sanità and University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro focused in oncology and infectious diseases. The company will invest in the new portfolio approximately 7 Mi€.
“With the first portfolio finalized in 2016, BiovelocITA created two new spin-off companies. The first one, Enthera, co-founded by Prof. Paolo Fiorina, is dedicated to the treatment of diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases and has already raised 4 Mi Euro by Sofinnova Partners and JDRF, along with BiovelocITA investors. The second start-up will soon be created around the discoveries by Fabrizio d’Adda di Fagagna at the IFOM and will be focused on diseases connected with senescence. Today, with this new portfolio, we broaden our horizon of co-operation with first class scientific institutions all around Italy.” said Gabriella Camboni, CEO of BiovelocITA.
Here follows a brief profile of the new projects.
• New therapeutic vaccines against cancer and chronic infectious diseases
In cooperation with the team led by Dr. Maurizio Federico at ’Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS, Rome), BiovelocITA will develop an innovative approach to therapeutic vaccines that exploits the production of exosome-anchored antigens by endogenous muscle cells. A DNA vector injected intramuscularly triggers the production of a fusion protein, discovered and produced by ISS (a mutant of Nef), which accumulates into exosomes thus delivering to immunity cells a large quantity of antigens. This in turn activates T cytotoxic lymphocytes with highest efficiency.
BiovelocITA will invest in this project about 1,1 Mi Euro.
• A significant step forward against leukemia
The project was originated by Pierfrancesco Tassone, Professor of Medical Oncology at University Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, and his team. It will exploit a newly discovered target antigen to selectively kill leukemic cells with a monoclonal antibody developed by the team. The target appears on the surface of leukemic cells and is a variant of the protein CD43, which in its natural form is expressed on some normal blood cells. The new approach may lead to the development a targeted therapy for some incurable forms of leukemia in children and in adults. BiovelocITA will invest in the project about 1Mi Euro.
• Amypopharma: a spin-off company of University Milano-Bicocca discovering new therapies against amyloidosis
Amypopharma, a spin-off company of University Milano-Bicocca, is dedicated to the development of “armed” nanoparticles to treat various forms of amyloidosis, a disease group characterized by the undesired accumulation of protein-fibrils in various organs leading to severe dysfunction. There are few therapeutic options available for these conditions, and often, as for Alzheimer disease, they consist in palliation. The novel nanoparticles have been developed by the group led by Prof. Massimo Masserini and Dr. Francesca Re.
BiovelocITA will invest 700 K Euro in Amypofarma.
BiovelocITA S.r.l. is the first Italian accelerator dedicated to biotech. It was founded by Silvano Spinelli, Gabriella Camboni and Sofinnova Partners. Thanks to BiovelocITA, entrepreneurs, scientists and investors can work together to accelerate biotech projects with an international scope and reach the “proof of concept” that precedes the clinical phase. Set up to offer innovative solutions to the medical community and to patients, BiovelocITA supports the creation and development of innovative biotech companies in all therapeutic areas. (www.biovelocita.com)
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