Press Release-Villeneuve d’Ascq, April 14, 2022
Hemerion Therapeutics successfully raises over €3.5 million: a new hope for the treatment of brain cancer.
Hemerion Therapeutics has successfully completed a €3.55 million seed round combining investment funds, business angels and a loan from Bpifrance. This new round of financing accelerates the implementation of international clinical trials aiming at validating Hemerion’s therapeutic solution for the treatment of glioblastoma, the most aggressive brain cancer.
Hemerion’s technology combines molecules and innovative laser treatment to selectively destroy cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue. The technology is based on a drug that selectively accumulates in cancer cells. When illuminated by a specific laser light, the drug causes tumor cells death through photochemical cytotoxic effect. Tumor cells are eliminated wherever the light penetrates.
Used as an add-on to surgery, before any adjuvant treatments, Hemerion technology eliminates cancer cells in places that are inaccessible to standard tumor resection. It holds particular promise for the treatment of glioblastoma, one of the most common and aggressive brain tumors. Hemerion Therapeutics has already initiated its clinical program with a first conclusive clinical trial in patients harboring glioblastoma. Its integration into the standard of care could significantly improve patient survival and quality of life.
A high level of seed funding that directly contributes to international clinical development.
With a total amount of €3.55 million, this significant fundraising provides Hemerion’s founders and their teams with excellent development prospects.
FIRA NORD EST 2 (Finovam gestion), CapTech Santé Nutrition and Nord France Amorçage funds and several business angels participated in this round with a total investment of €2.55 million. These equity operations are coupled with a €1 million seed loan from Bpifrance.
This new financing follows the first round achieved by Hemerion’s founders, the University of Lille Foundation, Bpifrance and a French business angel entrepreneur. Hemerion had then raised a total of more than €1.7M in funding since the company’s creation in September 2020.
This new round of funding will notably strengthen the company’s regulatory, clinical and industrial resources and prepare for a Series A in 2023.
«We will finance a decisive step in the clinical validation of our therapeutic solution this year, with the finalization of our new technological platform and an international Phase II clinical trial. This is a real boost for the integration of our solution into the standard of care for glioblastoma, which affects nearly 30,000 new patients per year in Europe and the United States.»
Maximilien Vermandel, founder of Hemerion Therapeutics
Accelerated clinical development, particularly in the U.S.
The company is already actively working with the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to obtain the Investigational New Drug (IND) label. This step precedes the implementation of a phase II clinical trial in the first half of 2023, in collaboration with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
The trial, involving 10 to 15 patients, will validate the safety of the new Heliance technology platform and foreshadow the clinical trial phase: a pivotal step in bringing Hemerion’s solution for the treatment of glioblastoma to market.
Resources for new therapeutic applications in sight
This new funding also allows Hemerion to develop the portfolio of therapeutic applications for its technology. Several preclinical evaluations are already underway to validate the efficacy of the therapeutic solution in the treatment of other types of cancers.
About Hemerion Therapeutics
Hemerion was founded in 2020, following more than 10 years of academic research conducted within an INSERM laboratory, associated with the University of Lille and the Lille University Hospital.
The company brings together physicists and surgeons with complementary profiles to develop innovative therapeutic solutions at the crossroads of the two disciplines.
The technology developed by Hemerion complements surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments. It is particularly promising in the treatment of the most common and aggressive brain cancer: glioblastoma, for which Hemerion Therapeutics has already an active clinical program.
About FINOVAM Gestion
FINOVAM GESTION is an AMF-accredited management company that supports entrepreneurs from the early stages of their project and throughout their subsequent development in five key sectors: Digital, Health and Biotechnology, Bioeconomy, Energy Transition and Industry of the Future. With a recognized experience in venture capital, the management team is spread over four sites (Lille, Amiens, Metz and Dijon) and puts its expertise and its network at the service of innovative companies in the three regions of Hauts-de-France, Grand Est and Bourgogne Franche-Comté. FINOVAM Gestion manages four investment funds for a total amount under management of 100 M€ and a portfolio of 60 innovative companies.
About CAPTECH Santé Nutrition
CAPTECH SANTÉ NUTRITION is an investor involved in the early stages of development of biotechnology, health and nutrition projects. Captech Santé is managed by a dedicated team of life science experts. Captech brings to its portfolio companies a large network in the industrial and technological fields. The fund is managed by Finorpa Gestion, a management company with 30 years of experience in supporting projects. Captech was created in November 2021 and Hemerion is its first investment in the field of new therapeutic devices, thus enhancing the assets of the Hauts-de-France region in this sector.
About Nord France Amorçage
Nord France Amorçage (NFA) is an investment fund created in 2013 with assets under management of 36 M€. It is owned by the « Hauts-de-France » region with sponsorship of Europe, and managed by Siparex Group. NFA supports innovation and job creation in « Hauts-de-France » through investments in innovative companies. Since 2013, it has invested more than 28 M€ in 80 companies with no sector bias.
NFA finances projects from pre-seed stage to series A with a maximum total investment of 2 M€ (first round investment ticket of 800 K€ max).