Iproteos closes a round of funding valued at 1.5 million Euros

Teresa Tarragó, CEO and co-founder of Iproteos
Teresa Tarragó, CEO and co-founder of Iproteos

The biotech will set aside this injection of capital –led by Caixa Capital Risc- to complete the preclinical phase in order to start Human Phase I trials of its compound to the treatment of Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia. The drug is one of the few under development worldwide to halt the progression and reverse the symptoms of this condition.

The drug is a first-in-class for the treatment of Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia  (CIAS). The compound has been developed using their proprietary IPROTech, a cutting-edge platform the fast and cost-effectively obtaining of innovative drugs.  

Iproteos, settled at the Parc Cientific de Barcelona, is a spin-off created in 2011 by two Catalan leading scientists in the field of therapeutic peptides, Teresa Tarragó and Ernest Giralt, based on the technology transfer from IRB Barcelona and the University of Barcelona.

Biotech Iproteos – co-founded by IRB Barcelona and based at the Parc Científic de Barcelona– has closed a round of funding valued at 1.5 million Euros, led by Caixa Capital Risc and with participation of Kinled Holding, a Hong Kong based investment company with offices in London, New York and Zurich, and the biotech ASCIL Biopharm.  

The biotech will set aside this injection of capital to the completion of the regulatory preclinical phase of his compound, a first-in-class drug for the treatment of Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia (CIAS). The compound is one of the few that are being developed around the world to halt and reverse the cognitive impairment caused by this disease.

"Iproteos begins a new stage in the life of the company, with support from Caixa Capital Risc and Kinled. Their incorporation into Iproteos provides us a wider range of resources, both financial and professional, to ensure that the drug reaches patients as soon as possible. The experience of both investment funds coupled with the experience provided by ASCIL Biopharm´s team is a competitive advantage that will allow Iproteos to work hand in hand with leading experts from different areas of the drug development" said Teresa Tarragó, CEO and cofounder of Iproteos.

Iproteos will carry out the regulatory preclinical phase of its drug to then be able to carry out clinical trials in humans. The company intends to conduct Phase I and Phase IIa studies. After the efficacy test in patients, Iproteos will license the drug to a large pharmaceutical company that will take on the completion of its development. Several companies have already shown interest in the molecule developed by the Barcelona-based biotech.

Iproteos has been able to get to where it is now thanks to funding from private investment and public funding. The company has obtained financial support from the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, the European Union, through the H2020 program, and ICEX and ICF funding.

Iproteos has several projects under development in the field of schizophrenia, epilepsy and atherosclerosis, being the first one the most advanced. Iproteos cognitive enhancer is a next generation drug developed by its proprietary technology IPROTech, a cutting-edge platform that combines computational and biotechnology tools developed by Iproteos research team for the design of innovative therapeutic molecules, called peptidomimetics. This technology speeds up the research process to obtain new drugs,  through highly advanced computational chemistry tools specifically designed to generate and model novel molecules.

Schizophrenia is a severe form of mental illness, which according to data from the World Health Organisation, affects around  7 per thousand of the world's population, about 45 million people. Around 75- 80% of schizophrenia patients are estimated to be affected by the Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia (CIAS). These symptoms include memory impairment, difficulty to process information and reduced capacity to pay attention, affecting the day to day of schizophrenia patients and thir sorrounidngs.

“Currently available antipsychotic drugs treat positive symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, etc.) and negative symptoms (slurred or difficulty of speech, inappropriate emotions, etc.) of schizophrenia but but not schizophrenia cognitive impairment. The compound developed by Iproteos has demonstrated its efficacy as a cognitive enhancer in in vivo preclinical trials. The results have shown a significant improvement in learning and memory abilities, which does not happen with the administration of current available treatments. The step taken now by Iproteos with the entry of Caixa Capital Risc, Kinled and Ascil-Biopharm, is a reaffirmation of our commitment for scientific research in an unmet medical need such as schizophrenia” explains  Dr. Tarragó.

Kinled is delighted to join Caixa Capital Risc in the funding of Iproteos. "Iproteos's state of the art in-house developed technology, very strong team and solid match with what Kinled believes it can provide as an active investor, were amongst the main reasons for the investment decision", said a company spokesperson. Kinled Chairman Patrick Aisher said: "Iproteos can become a leading player in developing peptidomimetics drugs to attend the vast potential of new compounds in the Central Nervous System (CNS) disease market."

About Iproteos

Iproteos, located at the “Parc Cientific de Barcelona”, is a spin-off that was created based on the transfer of technology developed within the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and the University of Barcelona, with the strategic participation of the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation.

Founded in 2011 by Teresa Tarragó and Ernest Giralt, Iproteos was created to develop third-generation drugs with greater effectiveness, fewer side effects and at a lower cost, covering the development stages to preclinical and clinical validation, to ultimately license the peptidomimetic drug to third parties.