TreeFrog Therapeutics, an expert stem cell company, has raised €7.1M (USD $7.8M) in a Series A funding round. The proceeds will be used to transition the company’s C-Stem™ technology to cGMP standards by 2021 and to develop proprietary and collaborative cell therapy research programs in a wide array of indications (Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, diabetes, NASH…) with the objective of a first-in-man clinical trial in 2024.
TreeFrog Therapeutics, incorporated in November 2018, located in Bordeaux, France, is a stem cell company that aims to enable millions of patients to access the medical revolution of cell therapies by overcoming current critical manufacturing issues. The company has developed C-Stem™, a proprietary technology platform based on 3D stem cell culture. It provides an end-to-end and scalable solution that will dramatically improve the quality of therapeutic cells and reduce treatment costs.
According to the company, the key bottleneck in cell therapy research today is the culture of pluripotent stem cells, which are fragile and difficult to grow. Therefore, current cell therapy programs are limited by manufacturing capacity, cell processing costs and cell quality. To address this challenge, TreeFrog Therapeutics developed C-Stem™, its proprietary technology for stem cell culture; a 3D cell culture system enabling the mass production of stem cells with short lead times, while preserving genomic integrity. C-Stem aims to significantly lower costs and accelerate bioproduction.
The company recently announced that it has delivered the first batch of 143 million human IPS cells to Imagine Institute. These cells were amplified in only seven days without compromising on quality. This amplification factor is about ten times higher than current industry standards and genomic integrity was proved 100% preserved by Imagine Institute. According to the company one cryopreserved batch could enable an entire clinical study.
“Maxime Feyeux and Kévin Alessandri have successfully managed to remove the barriers to the mass production of stem cells. The University of Bordeaux is proud to have been by their side from the start of their project. It is clear that Aquitaine Science Transfert will continue to support the company until their first industrial realization.” Maylis Chusseau, president, Aquitaine Science Transfert
“This Series A round marks the culmination of a global fundraising effort, which includes seed capital and non-dilutive funds, to the amount of approximately €8M ($9M). We now have the resources to meet our milestones, build our capacities and secure our plan for growth. In addition to the investors who have put their trust in us, we are very grateful to the French Investment Bank Bpifrance, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Council, the ENSTBB bioproduction school and the UNITEC incubator for their support.” – Maxime Feyeux, president, CSO, TreeFrog Therapeutics
“I am delighted to complete this funding cycle so quickly. Within the past six months, we’ve been approached by several big pharma companies to develop novel cell therapy programs. Now, all the lights are green as we move forward with our partners with the aim of a first-in-man clinical trial within three to five years.” – Kévin Alessandri, CEO & CTO, TreeFrog Therapeutics