AmorChem reinforces its innate immunity franchise with an investment in checkpoint control target SRSF3
Montreal – (BUSINESSWIRE) – February 11, 2019, AmorChem II is very proud to announce the financing of a new university project. Following the agreement, it has reached with Université Laval and the CERVO Brain Research Centre of the CIUSSS de la Capital Nationale, the venture capital fund will finance the development of a project on the SRSF3 target in the laboratory of Dr Jasna Kriz.
“This program is focused on the regulatory mechanisms involved in the altered peripheral/central innate immune response in neurological disorders, and in particular, on the role of microglia/macrophages in both acute and chronic neuroinflammation observed in various central nervous system (“CNS”) diseases. This novel target is a key regulator of RNA splicing, transport and gene expression, which appears to play a central role analogous to checkpoint inhibition of the innate immune system. Similarly to T-cell checkpoints in oncology, removal of this off-switch in the innate immune response would open the door to the development of new therapeutic approaches to different human diseases” says Kevin McBride, PhD, partner and CSO at AmorChem.
“The past few years have confirmed the promise of therapeutic strategies focusing on innate immunity. This project allows AmorChem to work on a target that plays a key role in its control. This mechanism of action is very relevant for neuroinflammatory diseases, most notably for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Our experience in neuroinflammation will contribute to defining the start-up company potential of this project,” adds Elizabeth Douville, PhD, co-founder and managing partner at AmorChem.
“Thanks to the efficient cooperation between the Office of Vice Rector of Research, Creation and Innovation of Université Laval and the CIUSSS de la Capitale Nationale, we were able to rapidly enter into a collaboration designed to unleash the potential of SRSF3. In addition, the team at SOVAR played a leading role in connecting Dr Kriz and Amorchem and helping her in the various stages of the selection process conducted by our organization,” notes Maxime Ranger, PhD MBA, general partner at AmorChem.
The Vice Rector of Research, Creation and Innovation, Ms Eugénie Brouillet, expressed her enthusiasm for the potential presented by the transaction. “This promising partnership will accelerate the development of Dr Jasna Kriz’s work, which is key in identifying new treatments for CNS diseases.”
AmorChem (www.amorchem.com) is a leading early-stage, venture capital fund located in Montreal focused on creating promising life science companies from technologies originating primarily from Quebec-based universities and research centres. Launched in 2011, the AmorChem I Fund model combines access to financial resources with a virtual incubator structure that enables the rapid development and commercialization of its technologies. The first fund (41.2M$) has built a portfolio of 24 technologies and successfully transacted two pharma exits as well as spun-out six companies. The attractiveness of this seed fund model and the role it plays in the investment ecosystem were highlighted in September 2017 with the launch of the AmorChem II Fund, which now totals 45.7M$.
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