A University of Valencia research spin-off gets investment to test myotonic dystrophy therapy in humans

  • Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit
  • July 28th, 2020
Beatriz Llamusí and Rubén Artero.
Beatriz Llamusí and Rubén Artero.

Arthex Biotech (ARTHEx), a spin-off of the Science Park of the University of Valencia focused on the development of a treatment against type 1 myotonic dystrophy (DM1), has closed a 6.95 million euros funding round to develop a therapy against this rare and untreated neuromuscular disease with genetic origin that causes chronic weakness and shortens life expectancy. The company plans to test this therapy in humans in 2022.

Co-founded by Professor of Genetics Rubén Artero and Dr. Beatriz Llamusí in September 2019 with the support of Invivo Ventures funding, the company Arthex Biotech wants to develop an RNA-based therapy based on results of the Translational Genomics research group of the University of Valencia, whose test in an animal model was published in the journal Nature Communications. The therapy was patented and licensed to Arthex by the University of Valencia.

Rubén Artero explained his satisfaction at having contributed to transferring academic research to the private sector in order to continue its preclinical development, until a possible trial in patients. “We maintain interest in this type of approach based on the use of small RNA molecules as drugs and proof of this is the organisation of an international conference in Valencia on these molecules.”

With the funding round, Arthex has raised 4.25 million euros from InVivo Ventures and Advent France Biotechnology (AFB), in addition to the initial 2.7 million invested by Invivo Ventures and CDTI-INNVIERTE. Along with the funding, Alain Huriez, AFB president and managing partner, will join the Arthex board of directors, along with Invivo Ventures managing partners Luis Pareras and Albert Ferrer.

Welcoming Dr. Huriez from AFB is an exceptional opportunity for us. The company specialises in the development of drugs with biotech start-ups”, said Dr. Beatriz Llamusí, Arthex co-founder and CEO.

With more than a dozen RNA therapies tested in clinical trials, the field is gaining momentum and many patients with previously untreatable diseases have reasons to be optimistic. We are very proud to join forces with Advent France Biotechnology to bring RNA therapy with Arthex to the first human trials”, said Luis Pareras and Albert Ferrer, founding partners of Invivo Ventures.


More information on Arthex: www.arthexbiotech.com

More information on Advent France Biotechnology: www.adventfb.com

More information on Invivo Ventures: www.invivo.capital