Enyo Pharma, a Lyon, France-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments for acute and chronic viral infections, secured a €22m Series A financing round.
The round was led by Sofinnova Partners, with participation from Morningside and Bpifrance via its fund InnoBio. In conjunction with the funding, Chahra Louafi, Senior Investment Director and Head of the Biotherapies and Rare Diseases Fund of Bpifrance and Jason Dinges, PhD, member of the investment team at Morningside, are joining the board of Enyo Pharma.
The company intends to use the funds to accelerate the roll out its clinical hepatitis-B program, conduct Phase I trials in the first half of 2016, and phase II trials on chronic hepatitis B sufferers should follow by 2017.
Led by Jacky Vonderscher PhD, CEO, Enyo Pharma discovers therapeutic molecules based on the work initiated by a team at Inserm in Lyon, formed by its co-founders, Pr Patrice André, Dr Vincent Lotteau, Dr Benoît de Chassey and Laurène Meyniel-Schicklin. The strategy involves targeting not the constituents of a virus like most current anti-virals do, but the host’s cellular functions that are needed for the virus to replicate. Viral proteins interact with the intra-cellular proteins of the host in order to misuse the human cellular machinery and thrive, using very effective strategies. The new approach, which involves blocking these interactions, vital for the virus, has the potential to combat the emergence of new resistant strains and to diversify the therapeutic tools used to treat them.