Minoryx has raised 1.6 million Euro in a round led by ”la Caixa”. The investment has been made through the Caixa Innvierte BioMed II fund, an investment vehicle managed by Caixa Capital Risc, the venture capital arm of ”la Caixa”, which has participation from the Centre for Industrial Technology Development (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial, CDTI), under the Programa Innvierte framework, and with a minority participation by the Catalan Institute of Finance ( Institut Català de Finances, ICF).
The operation is joined by the Sanfilippo Foundation Switzerland. Minoryx, founded in 2011, is dedicated to treating congenital metabolic disorders, a group of rare or orphan diseases for which there are no treatments in the majority of cases. In their most severe versions, they affect children and adolescents particularly aggressively.
The company is dedicated to discovering drugs based on small molecules that recover the functionality of enzymes made ineffective by genetic mutations through SEE -Tx, which combines its proprietary computational platform and biological screening.
This type of drugs, known as “non-competitive pharmacological chaperones,” has awoken great interest in the pharmaceutical industry and is one of best alternatives for genetic diseases that today are incurable, such as GM1 gangliosidosis and Morquio syndrome B.
On the other hand, in projects such as the one dedicated to Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), Minoryx pursues an approach centred on drugs that are capable of counteracting cellular dysfunction on a phenotype level. Adrenoleukodystrophy, which affects approximately one of out every 30,000 people throughout the world, manifests itself as a progressive neurodegenerative disease. It is transmitted from parents to children as an X chromosome - linked genetic trait. Part of the resources from the round of funding will be dedicated to starting regulatory studies on the ALD drug candidate based on the the development plan drafted in agreement with the Scientific Advice provided by the European Medicines Agency.
Minoryx, located in the Parc TecnoCampus Mataró-Maresme, is headed by Doctors Marc Martinell, Joan Aymamí and Xavier Barril. Marc Martinell has a wealth of experience in developing drugs for the companies Crystax and Oryzon Genomics. Joan Aymamí, who was an investigator for UPC and MIT, is the author of numerous patents and was a founder of Crystax. Xavier Barril, ICREA researcher at the University of Barcelona, previously developed drugs for the company Vernalis (UK) and is the inventor of the computational technology used by Minoryx.
Dr Nigel Ten Fleming, founder of companies such as Athena Diagnostics and G2B Pharma and adviser for companies such as Impax Laboratories, listed on NASDAQ, serves on the board of directors of Minoryx as an independent member and chairman.
As a result of this round, the company has also added to the board of directors Dr Daniel Bach as representative of the Sanfilippo Foundation. Daniel Bach is managing partner in a Swiss venture capital fund, where he co-leads investments in the biotech sector
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