Iproteos closes the first ‘crowdfunding’ campaign of the Spanish biotech sector
The biotech Iproteos -located at the Parc Cientific de Barcelona- has managed to successfully close an innovative funding campaign based on equity crowdfunding with the aim of raising € 100,000 for the development of a new drug to stop progression and reverse the cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia: IPR019. The funds raised will allow the biotech -a spin-off from the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) - complete the preclinical non-regulatory stage of the compound to begin clinical trials in 2016.
The campaign – a first-in-class with these characteristics to be conducted by a Spanish biotech- was carried out by the Creoentuproyecto.com platform and closed last Thursday before the expected completion date, on 31st of October, with the participation of 41 investors (40 from Spain) with a mean contribution of 2400 € by investor, 14 % of which were scientific investors.
“The crowdfunding project has been a very positive experience for the Iproteos team. On one hand, we have been able to raise funds that will allow us to continue to advance the development of our drug for the treatment of schizophrenia and, moreover, we have given visibility to our business and the innovative work we are carrying out. In addition, the project has been a pioneer in Spain in relation to new forms of financing for biotech companies and paves the way for others to use this new way to raise funds”, said Teresa Tarrago, founder and CEO at Iproteos.
A third generation ‘first in class’
IPR019 of Iproteos is a last generation cognitive enhancer that has already proven its efficacy with very positive results in animal models: an improvement in learning and memory abilities affected by schizophrenia has been achieved, which current treatments cannot do. It also has a completely different mechanism of action, which makes it a ‘first-in-class’ drug.
It is a drug of the so-called ‘third generation’, which are at the interface between traditionally used drugs and second generation drugs (protein drugs). It is based on molecules called peptides that block the action of proteases and are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, a protective system of the brain that so far the vast majority of drugs have failed to cross.
Iproteos, located in the Barcelona Science Park, is a spin-off founded in 2011 by two Catalan scientists leaders in the field of therapeutic peptides, Teresa Tarrago and Ernest Giralt, based on the transfer of technology generated at IRB Barcelona and the UB, with the strategic participation of the Fundació Bosch i Gimpera (FBG). Iproteos business plan focuses on the discovery of third generation drugs for diseases of the central nervous system. The company has had the support of ACTION -the agency for Business Competitiveness of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, and the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI).
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