Stem cells taken from the umbilical cords of newborns inspire Steminov with an innovative therapeutic solution. The biotech of Vandeuvre-lès-Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle) recently raised 980,000 euros from the Fira Nord-est fund (Finovam Gestion) and Bpifrance with a view to accelerating the development of a drug against septic shock.
“Septic shock remains the main cause of death in intensive care. However, there is currently no specific treatment”, enlightens Julie Hutin, the president of the young shoot. The health context pushes Steminov to test, in parallel, the effectiveness of his drug on Covid-19 patients hospitalized in intensive care at the Nancy CHRU. His research in this area was authorized last August by the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM).
The funds raised by the start-up will allow it to continue its clinical studies until the end of phase II, in other words the demonstration of the effectiveness of the drug in humans, a stage from which Steminov could arouse the interest of a big-pharma.
Equip yourself with bioreactors
To reach this level, biotech needs to increase its production of stem cells. “The objective is to equip ourselves with bioreactors in order to optimize the cultivation of stem cells and thus be able to test our solution on hundreds of patients “, prosecution the president who has just recruited a bioproduction engineer.
The start-up (5 people) founded in January 2019 by Julie Hutin and Danièle Bensoussan, head of the cell therapy unit at the Nancy CHRU, was incubated by the Lorraine Incubator (University of Lorraine). Its work is based on a patent held by the University of Lorraine and the Nancy CHRU.