Oxolife raises €5 million in a funding round and joins the Barcelona Science Park
The biotech Oxolife –focused on the development of a new treatment to improve the female fertility rate– has moved its headquarters to the Barcelona Science Park. The company, which has just raised a €5 million funding round, will start a phase II clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of OXO-001, a drug that specifically acts on embryo implantation to increase pregnancy success rate in assisted reproductive technology processes.
Biotech company Oxolife, created to develop a new treatment to improve female fertility rate, completed its first funding round by raising 5,000,000 euros in an investment led by Inveready Asset Management and the public body CDTI, alongside BStartup as well as HighStick2019, and private investors. The company raised 1.2 million euros from private investors through the Capital Cell platform in early 2020, and was selected as one of the three winners of the 2nd edition of BStartup Health.
Oxolife was founded in Barcelona in 2013 by Agnès Arbat, a medical doctor specialized in clinical pharmacology, and Ignasi Canals, a biochemistry doctor. Oxolife develops a molecule, OXO-001, that acts on embryo implantation to increase the pregnancy success rate. OXO-001 has shown promising results in representative animal models and has completed a first Phase I study with an excellent safety profile.
It is a breakthrough technology as there is currently no therapeutic alternative on the market to prepare the endometrium and improve embryo implantation conditions. Currently, the vast majority of drugs on the market focus on increasing and enhancing ovulation, oocyte fertilization and embryo development techniques. OXO-001 responds to an unmet need for millions of women in assisted reproductive technology processes. With this investment, Oxolife will expand the Phase I study and conduct a Phase II clinical trial in European centers, including various clinics in Spain. They will evaluate the efficacy of the drug in embryo implantation in patients treated with assisted reproductive techniques. Following this study’s completion, the company aims at reaching an agreement with a pharmaceutical company to complete the clinical development and bring the drug to market.
This operation should take place in 2023. Agnès Arbat, CEO, and CMO of Oxolife comments: “We are glad to have financial partners with such an excellent track record in backing up start-ups. They can provide us with the necessary resources to complete the following phases and bring OXO-001 molecule closer to the market in the shortest possible time”.
“The extensive development program counts on more than 30 efficacy and safety studies. The studies prove that OXO-001 has a significant effect, increasing embryo implantation up to 65%”, explains Ignasi Canals, scientific director of Oxolife. “Safety has been assessed in different animal models and their offspring, demonstrating that the administration is safe for both. Good safety results have also been obtained in humans. These results allow us to advance and plan the study in women with a diagnosis of infertility for next year which will allow us the true extent of OXO-001 at improving fertility”.
“The quality of the entrepreneurial team and the fact that they bring real innovation to an unmet need- the improvement of fertilized eggs’ implantation-, is what we liked most about Oxolife, as well as the fact of being in a private and free-price market” says Sara Secall, Inveready’s Life Science Operating Partner. ”
Oxolife is an example of new ways of financing in our country: specialized venture capital that mobilizes CDTI’s public capital, and crowdfunding” adds Roger Piqué, Inveready’s General Partner. This operation counted with the legal advice of dwf-RCD, Lexcrea, Venture Tech Audit, and Dinsmore.
Furthermore, Oxolife has just been selected by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in Health (EIT Health) in the EIT’s Health Headstart Programme as one of 16 top Spanish start-ups. The program offers mentorship and funding of up to 50,000 euros for emerging companies to develop their innovations.