© 2023 Cellaïon
Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, 2023/06/20: Cellaïon is a biotechnology company based in Mont-St-Guibert, active in the field of liver regenerative advanced therapy, an area of excellence in the life sciences industry in Wallonia. Its flagship product HepaStem®, in advanced clinical development, targets severe liver diseases, and in particular acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF).
Shinsei Capital Partners (SCP), a Japanese VC firm specialized in cutting edge biotechnologies for patients, the syndicate of venture capital investors in Cellaïon, with the existing investors, Truffle Capital, Wallonie Entreprendre (WE) and Newton Biocapital reinforcing their participation in Cellaïon.
This financing will further support the ongoing phase 2b trial of HepaStem® in chronic liver disease patients suffering from life-threatening acute liver failure.
“The investment of Shinsei Capital Partner (SCP), and the reinforced participation of Truffle Capital, Wallonie Entreprendre (WE) and Newton Biocapital is a great sign of the confidence in the capacity of Cellaïon to generate the breakthrough expected in the field of regenerative liver medicine. It will allow us to expand our activities in Asia in addition to Europe and the US, where physicians and patients are also expecting with deep interest the development of Hepastem® “ says the founder Etienne Sokal, MD/PhD, Vice Chairman and CEO of Cellaïon.
Mr Tetsuya Kurihara, Partner at SCP, added “We are thrilled to be a part of Cellaïon. The team has extensive experiences and broad capabilities in both clinical and business perspectives. We believe their lead product HepaStem® could be a breakthrough drug that offers a new approach to life-threatening liver diseases for which liver transplantation is currently the only treatment option.”
The Chairman of Cellaïon, Philippe Pouletty, MD, CEO of the lead investor Truffle Capital, added: The board is very pleased to welcome Tetsuya Kurihara as a new board member and to start working in close collaboration with SCP for the success of Cellaïon and future developments. The arrival of SCP will reinforce and accelerate our development of this potentially life-saving cell therapy.”
Cellaïon is in advanced stage clinical development and plans to reach market approval end of 2025 for this first indication, subject to positive clinical trial results and regulatory market approval.
ACLF is an acute hepatic failure leading secondarily to multi-system failure (i.e., other organs such as kidneys, heart, brain, lungs). Mortality exceeds 50% in the short term. HepaStem® brings hope to counter this hyper-inflammatory condition and to significantly improve the survival of these patients. There is currently no therapeutic alternative, and emergency liver transplantation remains largely inaccessible for these patients.
Cellaïon is a Biotechnology company created in March 2021 and established in the Walloon biotechnological valley of cell therapy, in Mont-St-Guibert, Belgium.
Cellaïon develops cellular therapy using the anti-inflammatory and regenerative signaling properties of liver stem cells.
Its technology is protected by a wide range of patents resulting from academic research at UCLouvain (Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium) and its own research and development.
The leading indication, namely multi-organ failures that complicate the loss of liver function – Acute on Chronic Liver Failure – ACLF – is a fatal disease for which no treatment is currently available.
HepaStem® acts directly on the cells making up the inflammatory reaction and on the signaling pathways of hepatic regeneration. By restoring liver function, secondary failures of other organs also recover their functional capacity.
The company is in advanced clinical development after successfully passing safety studies. More than one hundred patients have already received HepaStem®. Cellaïon has developed a manufacturing method allowing HepaStem® to be administered by a simple intravenous infusion with perfect tolerance.
The capital of Cellaïon is held by Fund+, Sofipôle, WE, Truffle Capital, Newton Biocapital, Brabant Walloon Invest, 6K Venture Capital as well as by Belgian and German private shareholders.
Contact informations : Cellaïon SA
Tel: +32 (0)10 39 43 00
Shinsei Capital Partners (SCP) is a Japanese VC firm specialized in cutting edge biotechnologies for patients. SCP’s mission is to help such research outcomes to be funded and to catalyze the translation of innovative medicines serving the needs of the patients. SCP contributes to the most promising technology innovations through the hands-on leverage of their deep knowledge of the sector and unique experiences in finance and drug development.
Founded in 2001, Truffle Capital is an independent European Venture Capital firm specializing in disruptive technologies in the Life Sciences (Biotech, Medtech, Bioecotech) and IT sectors (Fintech and Insurtech). Truffle Capital’s mission is to support the creation and development of innovative companies capable of becoming the leaders of tomorrow.
Chaired by Patrick Kron and managed by Doctor Philippe Pouletty and Bernard-Louis Roques, Co-founders and Managing Directors, Truffle Capital manages €600 million in assets. It has raised more than €1.1 billion since its creation and has supported more than 75 companies in the digital technology and life sciences sectors.
Newton Biocapital (NBC) is a VC firm focused on early-stage Life Sciences companies targeting chronic health conditions. NBC is among the 8 VC firms certified by AMED in Japan to boost the pharma ecosystem and the only one with offices in Japan/Europe. NBC’s diversified team of experts and its presence in Japan/Europe enable NBC to identify and select the most promising companies based on the outstanding research ecosystem in these two regions. NBC provides investment opportunities that can help patients and society, as well as foster growth of the Japanese/European biotech ecosystems.
NBC is a hands-on investor and leverages its expertise to help its portfolio companies focus on the right indication and clinical trial design, thereby helping them progress successfully through the challenging early drug development phases up to the proof of concept in patients. NBC enables time- and cost- effective translation from science to proof of concept in patients that attracts potential acquirers and unlocks value – for patients, companies, and investors.
Partner with us to unlock life sciences innovation, grow the biotech sectors and make an impact both locally and internationally.
Building on Wallonia’s traditional strengths, WE Life Sciences invests in its “Local Heroes”: researchers and entrepreneurs who want to leverage their innovation to build a more sustainable and equitable global economy having roots in Wallonia.
WE Life Sciences cultivates diversity and cross-fertilization in its broadest sense, investing in companies active in the health sector, at various stages of development, which are based on a wide range of technologies, tackling multiple indications or pathologies.
WE Life Sciences is a Pioneer, Premature and Patient investor who gets involved from the earliest stages in the most promising companies, and is driven by a long-term vision – longer than the average venture capitalist.
WE’s role as an investor in the Healthcare sector allows entrepreneurs to explore areas they might be afraid to venture into alone. By supporting innovative start-ups, WE aims to strengthen the economic health of Wallonia.