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Joan Bertran, co-founder and CEO of Cebiotex, a a spin-off of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Foto: Parc Científic de Barcelona).

Cebiotex launches a €650,000 crowdfunding campaign to ensure that its oncological treatment reaches paediatrics

Cebiotex—with headquarters in the Barcelona Science Park (PCB)—has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign of €650,000 through Capital Cell to ensure that its first drug, CEB-01, used in the local post-surgical treatment of soft tissue sarcomas, also reaches paediatric oncology. CEB-01 is the first therapeutic application of its innovative technology, which are based on nanofibres, for local drug delivery. In the future, however, the company aims to develop new applications for pancreatic and liver cancer, as well as glioblastoma.Since it was formed in 2012, Cebiotex has raised over €2 million from public and private funds. The success of the previous equity crowdfunding campaigns and the participation of impactful social investors has allowed Cebiotex to maintain a paediatric focus as one of the company’s strategic objectives.


The campaign is part of a funding round of €1.6 million—capital which the biotech company hopes to cover with public and private funds—which will allow it to start clinical phases I/II of the candidate CEB-01 with 15 patients in 2018, and to carry out concept tests on new oncological therapies for pancreatic and liver cancers, in addition to brain tumours.

“We hope to demonstrate that it is possible to make profitable investments with a clear social objective. On the one hand, this impactful social round, which is crowdfunded, opens a new door, which is highly likely to be the final one, to private investors, offering them an investment with huge potential for profitability and liquidity which, under normal conditions, would only be open to professional investment funds. On the other hand, it allows us to focus the CEB-01 clinical phases on ensuring that the drug is not only used to treat cancer in adults—which generates most interest for professional investors, owing to its prevalence—but also as a treatment for child cancer, which is considered as a minority disease. It must be highlighted that in the last 20 years, only 3 oncological drugs have been marketed for children, compared to 180 for adults”, explained Joan Bertran, co-founder and CEO of Cebiotex.

Since it was founded in 2012, the biotech company has raised over €2 million from public and private funds. In February 2015 it closed its first funding round of €500,000, and in the second round—which ended in December last year—it raised €1.8 million, from which €600,000 were raised from successive crowdfunding campaigns which were completed over 6 weeks. The success of this round and the participation of impactful social investors has allowed Cebiotex to maintain a paediatric focus as one of the company’s strategic objectives. 

“The closure of this round of €1.6 million will allow us to access a Series A round of €5–10 million in order to continue developing the clinical phases of CEB-01, which we have submitted to the EMA for orphan drug designation; to enter in the pre-clinical and clinical phases of the following candidates for indications of pancreatic and liver cancer as well as glioblastoma, in addition to developing cell therapies along with other stakeholders. The first licences are being considered from 2021 onwards, with potential for x7 profitability”, stated the biotech’s CEO.

Nanofibres in cancer treatment: a public-private disruptive innovation project

CEB-01 for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma is the first product developed by the company through the Cebiotex® technological platform, which is based on the biomedical application of biodegradable nanofibres for the local drug delivery system. This therapeutic solution allows surgeons to re-cover the surgical bed with high concentrations of drugs after tumour removal. The aim is for the treatment to act directly on the affected area in order to eliminate the remains of tumours and to avoid relapses, thus increasing patient life expectancy. 

The idea of creating biocompatible nanofibre membranes and developing products deriving from this technology in the field of biomedicine was spawned by textile engineer Joan Bertran. In 2012, thanks to the support of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Barcelona (HSJD) and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), the project led to the creation of an innovative, technology-based company as a spin-off from both Catalan institutions, which patented the product and licensed it to the biotech company. More than 3 years of joint scientific, medical and technological research allowed Cebiotex to create and characterise, on an in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical level, nanofibre membranes which can be reabsorbed by the body for post-surgical cancer treatment. The company has already been granted patents in the USA and the EU, and is in the process of receiving them in China, Japan and South Korea. 

This year, with the resources obtained in its two funding rounds and the strategic support in machine design from Grifols Engineering, the biotech company has managed to develop a pre-industrial pilot plant—with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification for the production of CEB-01 and other future candidates—in the Creatio facilities (the Production and Validation Centre of Advanced Therapies at the University of Barcelona’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences). 

“Besides CEB-01, we are also currently developing new therapeutic solutions for the treatment of pancreatic and liver cancer in addition to brain tumours, whilst simultaneously working to open a second line of indications within advanced therapies, in which the use of nanofibre membranes may provide solutions which do not currently exist, such as retinal regeneration (macular degeneration due to ageing), and the regeneration of muscles, bones and tendons. Nowadays, Cebiotex has the potential and know-how to design and build specific production teams for each of the applications. This is one of our characteristic features, setting us apart from scientific teams who do not have “technological branches”, claims Joan Bertran.

►You can invest in the project via this link: