Funds will enable SeaBeLife to develop pipeline of innovative molecules intended to block programmed cell death in cases of acute liver and kidney disease
Roscoff, France, March 14, 2022 – SeaBeLife, a biotech company developing drug candidates intended to block cell necrosis, today announces that it has received €1.37M ($1.49M) in financing from Bpifrance. This financing, which has been granted in connection with the French government’s ‘Deeptech Plan’, will contribute to research into first-in-class drug candidates for the treatment of acute liver, kidney, heart and brain disease.
These funds will enable SeaBeLife to develop drug candidates with the unique ability to simultaneously inhibit necroptosis and ferroptosis, two modes of regulated cell death that are activated in individuals living with certain pathologies. The objective is to protect or regenerate organs affected by severe pathologies for which there are currently no effective treatments. SeaBeLife is the only company working on inhibition of these two modes of regulated cell death.
The financing will be paid out in two installments via the French government’s ‘Future Investments Program’: €959k ($1.04M) in the form of a repayable advance and €411k ($447k) in the form of subsidies.
“We are thrilled to have received this strategic financing from Bpifrance, which will provide us with a real springboard to continue developing. It is also wonderful to see the potential of our unique pipeline, which targets two regulated cell death pathways, being recognized in this way,” said Morgane Rousselot, CEO and co-founder of SeaBeLife. “This year, we will also be continuing our series A funding round, which will allow us to progress our preclinical trials and prepare for the clinical launch of our flagship molecules for the treatment of acute liver and kidney disease.”
The deep tech financing provided by Bpifrance is intended to fund the research and development phases of innovative, breakthrough projects prior to their industrial and commercial launch. Established in 2019, the Deeptech Plan comprises funds worth €2.5Bn ($2.72Bn) over five years, with the objective of financing the creation of 500 start-ups each year.
A unique technology that targets two regulated cell death pathways
When a cell is ready to die, there are several modes in which it can do so. In the case of certain pathologies, a phenomenon called necroptosis occurs, which is a form of regulated necrosis. Unfortunately, necroptosis results in inflammation, which damages surrounding tissue and can affect the prognosis of the associated disease.
SeaBeLife’s molecules have a unique property that makes them particularly effective: they also combat another specific mode of regulated cell death, ferroptosis. Recently, it was demonstrated that this dual action is essential to the inhibition of regulated necrosis in the treatment of certain pathologies.
The company mainly focuses on acute liver disease (acute liver failure) and acute kidney disease (acute kidney failure), but is also pursuing research into degenerative and ocular diseases (Parkinson’s disease, AMD, etc.).
SeaBeLife is a biotechnology company specialized in the development of drug candidates that block cellular necrosis in order to protect or regenerate organs affected by severe pathologies – for which there are no alternative, effective treatments. The company primarily targets acute pathologies of the liver and kidneys, whilst leading other research activities in ocular and degenerative conditions.
SeaBeLife’s technology centers around a portfolio of more than 45 biologically-active relevant molecules, which have the unique characteristic of inhibiting two forms of regulated and programmed cell death – necroptosis and ferroptosis – in pathological conditions. The company has filed four patents to protect the applications of these molecules. It has already demonstrated in vivo proof of concept for a first molecule in four indications and has started preclinical development in acute liver and kidney pathologies. SeaBeLife also obtained promising preliminary results with two other molecules in in vitro and in vivo models for chronic pathologies.
Founded in March 2019 and based in Brittany, France, SeaBeLife is led by CEO and co-founder Morgane Rousselot, who holds a PhD in biochemistry. The company is based on the research works of Stéphane Bach, PhD, CNRS research engineer, Marie-Thérèse Dimanche-Boitrel, research director at IRSET (the French institute for research in environmental and occupational health) and Claire Delehouzé, a biotechnology engineer, co-founder and CTO at SeaBeLife.
SeaBeLife currently employs six people and has raised €3.9 million ($4.3M) in private equity and grants since its creation.