Strasbourg, France, March 15, 2017 – PeptiMimesis, a biopharma company dedicated to the discovery and development of therapeutic transmembrane peptides, today announces that Cap Innov’Est, a regional seed fund, has released €0.7M ($0.74M), the second tranche of its investment secured in 2016. This new investment will be complemented with non-dilutive funding to reach more than €1M ($1.05M) to support its next development phase.

In less than one year, the company completed the groundwork for the selection of its first therapeutic candidate identified by its unique proprietary technology. PeptiMimesis is now advancing its pipeline toward an HER2-candidate nomination for breast cancer-derived brain metastasis. This further strengthens its position as the foremost player in the field of transmembrane peptides as a novel generation of therapeutics.

“PeptiMimesis is entering a strategic period in its development; this investment is key for the future of the company,” said Jean-François Rax, investment director at Cap Innov’Est. “We are proud to be the first financial partner to have supported the inception and the overall growth of this company.”

“We are really excited to move into a new phase in the translation of transmembrane peptides to human therapeutics,” said Marjorie Sidhoum, president of PeptiMimesis. “This additional investment will contribute to creating significant value through the pipeline of the company and, more particularly, its HER2 asset for breast cancer brain metastasis.”

Breast cancer represents the second most frequent cause of brain metastases after lung cancer, with metastases occurring in 10–16 % of patients. Studies have identified the subgroups of patients with triple-negative and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer as having an increased risk of the development of brain metastases, with up to half of patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer experiencing brain metastases over time. Treatment options for patients with breast cancer brain metastases are very limited.[1]

About therapeutic peptides

There are more than 60 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved peptide medicines currently on the market. This is expected to grow significantly, with approximately 140 peptide drugs in clinical trials and more than 500 therapeutic peptides in preclinical development. In terms of value, the global peptide drug market is predicted to increase from €12.4bn ($14.1bn) in 2011 to an estimated €22.4bn ($25.4bn) in 2018, with an underlying increase in novel innovative peptide drugs from €7.7bn ($8.6bn) in 2011 (60%) to €15bn ($17bn) in 2018 (66%)[2].

About transmembrane therapeutic peptides

Peptides possess key competitive advantages over antibodies, such as a faster drug discovery process and reduced manufacturing cost. In addition, the novel class of peptides developed by PeptiMimesis present lower immunogenicity as they are rapidly inserted within targeted cellular membranes. The peptides also demonstrate an amplified therapeutic efficacy through indirect inhibition of multiple co-receptors and their associated signalling pathways. This innovative approach relies on the disruption of dimerization of membrane receptors using peptides that interfere with the transmembrane sites of oligomerization.

About PeptiMimesis

Created in October 2015, PeptiMimesis is a biopharmaceutical company based in Strasbourg, France, dedicated to the discovery and development of transmembrane therapeutic peptides. The company’s proprietary platform delivers a set of drug candidates that act on validated targets in the field of immuno-oncology and oncology. PeptiMimesis’ business model aims to move forward a selection of internal assets and to secure a monopoly in the field of transmembrane peptides. It is looking to establish partnerships with pharma and biotech companies on its unique technology.

About Cap Innov’Est

Cap Innov’Est is a €36M ($38M) tri-regional (Alsace, Bourgogne, Franche-Comté) seed fund dedicated to investing in young, innovative startups. Cap Innov’Est was launched in July 2014 and has already invested in 19 startups. Cap Innov’Est is managed by Capital Grand Est with its partner, Invest PME (Siparex group). Cap Innov’Est is supported by Fonds National d’Amorçage (National Seed Fund), three French regions (Alsace, Bourgogne and Franche-Comté), SAFIDI, Caisse d’Epargne d’Alsace and Bourgogne/Franche-Comté, BNP Paribas and CIFC.

[1] Breast cancer brain metastases: the last frontier, Experimental Hepatology and Oncology, Nov 2015

[2] Transparency Market Research – Peptide Therapeutics Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2012-2018