Strasbourg, France, September 11, 2019 – Domain Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the discovery and development of new drug candidates targeting transmembrane receptors in neurology, oncology and rare diseases, today announces its investment of up to €3M ($3.3M) in Ermium Therapeutics.
Founded in June 2019 by Dr Jean-Philippe Herbeuval, Kurma Partners, Idinvest Partners, Domain Therapeutics and Erganeo, the new Paris-based company, Ermium Therapeutics, focuses on the development of an innovative class of immunomodulators targeting a GPCR, the chemokine CXCR4 receptor, for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Ermium’s proprietary asset originates from the CBMIT team at the laboratory of chemistry and pharmacological and toxicological biochemistry (CNRS/Paris Descartes University). Ermium’s molecules are the first that are able to target a newly identified active area on the CXCR4 receptor to inhibit the overproduction of inflammatory cytokines, including type 1 interferons. This strategically positions Ermium for the discovery of valuable and effective first-in-class candidates. By selectively targeting CXCR4 expressing cells, in particular plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) that are known to play a central role in multiple autoimmune diseases, Ermium’s lead series has a strong therapeutic potential.
“We are very happy to launch this new venture with Kurma Partners, Idinvest Partners, Jean-Philippe Herbeuval and Erganeo,” said Pascal Neuville, CEO of Domain Therapeutics. “This investment demonstrates our approach in selecting the best projects from academic groups and moving them forward to expand our asset portfolio. Kurma Partners identified Domain Therapeutics as a partner of choice at the inception of the company. This is great recognition of our role in the field of GPCRs and our position as a company builder.”
“Working closely with Domain Therapeutics during the acceleration phase funded by Erganeo was very productive,” said Suat Topsu, president of Erganeo. “By bringing its solid expertise in drug discovery and development and its understanding of the academic world, Domain Therapeutics has helped transform a great scientific finding into a real opportunity.”
“When Kurma Partners identified this promising project, Domain Therapeutics was naturally seen as the perfect partner to jointly define the R&D plan and company strategy,” added Thierry Laugel, managing partner at Kurma Partners. “Having Domain Therapeutics on board to support drug discovery and co-leading Ermium with Kurma Partners is incredibly valuable.”
About Ermium Therapeutics
Ermium Therapeutics was founded in June 2019 by Jean-Philippe Herbeuval, Kurma Partners, Idinvest Partners, Domain Therapeutics and Erganeo. The company is based in Paris and has signed a worldwide exclusive license agreement on intellectual property from CNRS and University Paris Descartes (France) through an agreement with Erganeo. In addition, Ermium Therapeutics won the innovation i-Lab 2019 award from the French Ministry of Research and Higher Education.
About Kurma Partners
Founded in July 2009, Kurma Partners is a key European player in the financing of innovation in healthcare and biotechnology, from pre-creation to growth capital, notably through Kurma Biofund I through III and Kurma Diagnostics, as well as via strategic partnerships with prestigious European research and medical institutions.
Erganeo is a French investment company specialising in disruptive innovations with a positive impact on our society. Its mission is to accelerate and simplify the associations between Public Research and the industrial world to support an ethical and sustainable progress.
About Idinvest Partners
Idinvest Partners is a leading European mid-market private equity firm. With €8bn under management, the firm has developed several areas of expertise including innovative startup venture capital transactions; mid-market private debt, i.e. single-tranche, senior and subordinated debt; primary and secondary investment and private equity advisory services. Founded in 1997, Idinvest Partners used to belong to the Allianz Group until 2010, when it branched out as an independent firm. In January 2018, Idinvest Partners became a subsidiary of Eurazeo, a leading global investment company, with a diversified portfolio of €17bn in assets under management, including approximately €11bn from investment partners, invested in over 350 companies.
About Domain Therapeutics
Domain Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and early development of new drug candidates targeting transmembrane receptors, in particular, G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), one of the most important classes of drug targets. Domain identifies and develops candidates (allosteric modulators and biased ligands) through its innovative approach and technologies. Domain has three revenue-generating pillars within its innovative business model: 1) collaboration with pharma companies for the discovery of new molecules 2) out-licensing of its bioSens-All™ technology and 3) creation of asset-centric vehicles for the development of its internal pipeline of preclinical candidates for central nervous system disorders, cancer and rare diseases. These asset-centric companies attract investment for focused development and exit is through a trade sale at an appropriate inflection point.