• EIB support to develop breakthrough treatments to address orphan neurodegenerative diseases with high unmet medical needs
• Focus on Minoryx’s lead asset, leriglitazone, a novel, disease-modifying PPAR-γ agonist
• Venture debt operation supported by the Investment Plan for Europe
Mataró, Barcelona, Spain and Gosselies, Belgium, October 30, 2020 - Minoryx Therapeutics, a Phase 3 clinical stage biotech company focused on the development of differentiating treatment options in orphan central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announces that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €25 million financing.
The EU bank will grant long-term financing to Minoryx to drive the company’s research and development activities in orphan genetic diseases for which there are currently no approved drugs available. The EIB investments will specifically support the development of Minoryx’s leriglitazone, a differentiated, disease-modifying PPAR-γ agonist currently being evaluated in three late-stage clinical trials:
• Pivotal Phase 2/3 ADVANCE study in adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), the chronic form of X-ALD (X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy) with onset in adulthood and characterised by progressive neurodegeneration of the spinal cord, resulting in progressive motor dysfunction
• Phase 2 NEXUS study in cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (cALD), the most aggressive form of X-ALD, typically affecting children between 2 and 12 years of age and characterised by brain inflammation, leading to rapid cognitive decline and death
• Phase 2 FRAMES study in Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA), a life-threatening disease characterised by neurodegeneration resulting in loss of coordination, muscle strength and cardiomyopathy
Estimates indicate that the investment in this research, development and innovation (RDI) project will help create over 50 jobs during the implementation phase.
EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix, who is responsible for the Bank’s operations in Spain, said: “We are very happy to sign an agreement that reaffirms the EIB's commitment to fostering innovation in the healthcare sector by driving the development of new treatments that will have a positive impact on the quality of life of people affected by rare diseases of the central nervous system. Our support for the research programme of Minoryx, a Spanish biotech company, will also help to improve the competitiveness of the European pharmaceutical industry and create highly skilled jobs.”
European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “This EU support will help Minoryx to develop breakthrough therapies for genetic diseases and treatments for diseases of the central nervous system. The coronavirus pandemic has shown how important it is to continue to push scientific boundaries and deliver medication for rare diseases. The European Commission will continue to support companies’ efforts in this sense at every opportunity.”
“The EIB brings Minoryx valuable financial resources, alongside our strong and supportive shareholders base, which, we believe, is a clear endorsement of the potential of leriglitazone to improve the lives of patients living with debilitating neurodegenerative disorders,” said Didier Le Normand, Group CFO and General Manager, Belgium.
“The current clinical studies with leriglitazone continue to advance as planned and we remain on track to report topline data from the pivotal ADVANCE study before the end of the year,” added Dr Marc Martinell, Co-Founder and CEO of Minoryx.
The EIB will provide funds for this RDI project by way of a venture debt operation under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a financing instrument used by the EU bank to assist leading companies in innovative research sectors. Since it was launched by the EIB under the Juncker Plan in 2016, this initiative has granted over €2 billion in financing for projects in sectors such as robotics, artificial intelligence and biomedicine. EIB venture debt financing targets European companies with up to 3,000 employees in the fields of biotechnology and health sciences, software and ICT, engineering and automation, and renewable energy and clean technology.