NH TherAguix announces the closing of its €13 million Series A round led by Bpifrance, through its InnoBio 2 fund, making its first investment, alongside Supernova Invest, a previous investor, and Omnes and Arbevel, new entrants.
NH TherAguix produces and develops its drug candidate AGuIX, for the treatment of solid cancers, with the potential to increase the survival rate of cancer patients, as well as their quality of life when it is combined with radiotherapy.
Founded in December 2015, and backed by Pulsalys, the technology transfer acceleration company from Lyon Saint-Etienne, NH TherAguix originates a nanomedicine innovation, the AGuIX drug candidate. This product, thanks to its nanometric structure, allows an IV administration and combines three essential attributes to fight tumours: targeting, imaging and treatment. The AGuIX technology is therefore part of the theranostics concept, which relates to a combination of therapy (radiosensitizing effect) and diagnostics (MRI imaging), and more widely in the personalized medicine of tomorrow.
Due to its biodistribution and its mechanism of action, AGuIX nanomedicine has a broad spectrum of activity towards solid tumours, 60% of which are treated by radiotherapy. This feature, coupled with a robust manufacturing process outsourced to Sanofi and Carbogen, should help develop an ambitious clinical strategy.
A Phase 1 trial tested AGuIX for post-injection tolerance, MRI contrast enhancement, and early evidence of radiosensitization in combination with standard radiotherapy protocol on patients with brain metastases. AGuIX is entering Phase 2 on the same indication in a multicentric trial involving one hundred patients (University Hospital of Grenoble,
Dr. Camille Verry, radiation oncologist). Another Phase 1 trial for advanced cervical cancer is being carried out at the Gustave Roussy Institute in Villejuif (92) (Prof. Cyrus Chargari, radiation oncologist).
Géraldine Le Duc, Co-founder and CEO of NH TherAguix considers that “Beyond the additional financial strength of the company, this fundraising will allow NH TherAguix to execute its clinical strategy. It will help the company achieve clinical proof of concept, production scale up, and strengthen its executive team. In addition, I am pleased to associate our project with Hervé Brailly (Innate Pharma), who takes over as our board of directors’ chairman. It’s the beginning of a new era for the company which is still so young! I thank all the shareholders and collaborators who have supported us during these first three years.”
Olivier Tillement, Co-founder and CSO of NH TherAguix says, “After more than 10 years of research in the lab and exciting academic collaboration, the results from our nanomedicine continue to surprise and stimulate me every day. It’s lucky to find investors who share our vision and enthusiasm. We will be able to consolidate our clinical developments and I hope to quickly and efficiently bring AGuIX® to the service of patients. “
“NH TherAguix is, to our knowledge, the first company to develop a radiosensitizing product IV delivered which facilitates its usage and greatly expands its potential indications. We have been impressed by the preliminary human proof of concept in brain metastases and are very excited to support NH TherAguix in the next phases of development for its drug candidate,” says Philippe Boucheron, Deputy Director of Life Sciences Investment at Bpifrance. “NH Theraguix, Deeptech start-up incubated by Pulsalys, perfectly illustrates the aim of Bpifrance’s Deeptech plan; that is, to promote the transfer of technology from laboratories to businesses, where technology transfer acceleration companies (SATTs) are an essential link to success.”
Maximilien Fournier-Sourdille, Principal at Omnes, says “we were convinced by the agility and scientific soundness of the radio-sensitization approach developed by NH Theraguix. We are pleased to be able to work closely with the entire NH Theraguix team to help them develop products that can have a major impact on patients treated with radiotherapy.”
Marc Le Bozec from Arbevel fund considers that “NH TherAguix offers great hope to patients and especially those who do not currently have therapeutic solutions. We are proud to invest alongside leading investors and join the journey alongside the founders, who have shown great talent to lead the company at this stage with time limitations.”
Celia Hart, Partner at Supernova Invest says: “We have been following NH Theraguix for a number of years and have been able to appreciate the tremendous journey to date. We invested during the previous financing round, in 2018, and are delighted to reinvest with leading investors in this new financing round that will allow the company to develop in an ambitious way.”