January 28, 2015
BIONEXT raises €1M in seed funding from the Cap Innov’Est fund and angel investors
Strasbourg, France, January 28, 2015 - BIONEXT, a bioinformatics company at the crossroads of IT and biotechnology, announces today that it has raised € 1 million in seed funding from the Cap Innov’Est fund and various angel investors. BIONEXT’s ambition is to become the reference company of the biology, collecting and centralizing, on a single big-data platform, all of the available knowledge on structural and omics data, including genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, and create innovative applications capable of using these data. BIONEXT’s objectives are to accelerate and de-risk the development cycle of new drugs, whose average duration and cost have now reached 12 years and 1.2 billion euros, and to boost therapeutic innovation, which has also been losing ground in the past twenty years.
Big-Data to accelerate and de-risk drug development
BIONEXT’s big-data platform harnesses the virtually unlimited processing power offered by cloud computing and will allow, for example, to predict in less than an hour the effect of a drug on the human body. Its particular value lies in its ability to uncover new relevant indications of a drug, to identify a pharmaceutical compound’s targets, or to anticipate a lack of efficiency or potential side effects during the development of a drug. “Considering the number of drug candidates that fail to pass phases 2 or 3 of clinical trials following efficiency or toxicity issues, despite years of R&D and tens to hundreds of millions of euros invested at a loss, being able to detect flaws early on and ahead of time to avoid subsequent failures thanks to the power of digital technology is of huge significance,” emphasized Serge-Henri Albou, CEO of BIONEXT.
Eventually, these technologies will gain traction and move to the heart of personalized medicine, from further promoting the development of compounding drugs to prescribing them through, for example, companion diagnostics technologies.
The pharmaceutical and biotech industries are going through a complete overhaul and digital technologies will be at the heart of this revolution. “The contribution of our BVS (Bionext Virtual Screening) solution to research and drug development can be compared to the revolution brought on by Dassault Systèmes, first in enhanced computer-aided aircraft design thirty years ago with CATIA . Our ambition is to be the Dassault Systèmes of health and quickly become the industry standard” said Serge-Henri Albou.
An innovative business model to make our breakthrough innovation accessible to all
BIONEXT also benefits from an innovative business model, inspired by IT best practices transposed to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. In contrast to what is currently being done in the field, BIONEXT wants to make its technologies accessible to everyone and foster innovation. Part of the company’s product offering will be sold to clients as online services on a per-analysis or subscription basis. Client fees will start from a minimum of 100 euros and no specific computer skills or dedicated hardware will be required: a browser will suffice to launch the analysis of a compound or a drug and have access to the results. “Our goal is to gain, thanks to cloud computing and SaaS (Software as a Service) computing platforms, 98% of the market share neglected by our competitors as a result of their business models and traditional technologies,” explained Serge-Henri Albou.
A proprietary and patented breakthrough technology
Our service offering, which will be launched in the course of 2015, relies on a disruptive technology protected by two patents. The result of ten years of public and private R&D efforts, BIONEXT is currently funded for up to two million euros, in part, by wining various French and European contests. BIONEXT was created by Serge-Henri Albou, and Laurent-Philippe Albou, who holds a PhD in structural bioinformatics from the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC) in Strasbourg, France, which he obtained under the supervision of Pr. Dino MORAS and Dr. Olivier POCH. The BIONEXT project was born in 2008, following intense discussions between Laurent-Philippe and his brother Serge-Henri, then manager of an IT company. The ALBOU brothers then brought together a board of directors with a strong experience in the areas of IT and biotechnology, including Jean-Paul BERTHOLIER (JVC Kenwood Holdings Inc., Avid, EFI), Paul AMSELLEM (The Mobile Network Group, Adenyo, Nokia) and Gilles AVENARD (co-founder and former CEO of BioAlliance Pharma, France Biotech). With their help, they were able to develop an innovative business model to position their disruptive technology in such a way that would stand out from the competition.
Alsace Capital, which co-manages with Invest PME (Siparex) the Cap Innov’Est seed fund, chose to support the development of this high growth potential company by investing 800,000 euros in BIONEXT’s capital. “Our investment in BIONEXT, which leverages on a real disruptive technology and is managed by a solid, diverse and dynamic team, will allow the company to position itself in a fast-growing global market, and quickly become a major player in bioinformatics,” explained Jean-François RAX, Investment Director at the Cap Innov’Est’s fund. BIONEXT also raised more than 200,000 euros from the Alsace Business Angels fund and independent business angel investors, as well as a loan of 300,000 euros from BPI France, aimed at strengthening the company’s financial position and capital structure. These various investments will allow BIONEXT to launch its first service offering this year and quickly expand internationally.
BIONEXT is based in Strasbourg, France, in the heart of the tri-national life science industry cluster “BioValley.” BIONEXT, a 100% IT company dedicated to “Digital Life Sciences,” was founded in 2009 by two brothers, Serge-Henri and Laurent-Philippe ALBOU with the idea of combining two ongoing revolutions: that of IT, with the introduction of big data and cloud computing, and that of biology, with the boom of omics data. BIONEXT solutions enable to predict, digitally and at an early stage, the effect of drugs on the human body in order to speed up and reduce the risk associated with drug development, while boosting therapeutic innovation. BIONEXT has won several awards and contests, including the French national competition for the creation of innovative technology companies organized in 2010 and two of the European program Eurostars, in 2011 and 2013. The company has 7 employees.
For more information please visit: www.bionext.com
Serge-Henri ALBOU, CEO (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Caroline Carmagnol and Valentine Boivin: +33 (0)1 44 54 36 66 / email@example.com
About Cap Innov’Est
Cap Innov’Est, a regional seed fund of 36 million of euros co-managed by Alsace Capital and Invest PME, (groupe SIPAREX), made its very first investment with BIONEXT and is positioning itself as an engine of growth for start-ups in the Alsace, Burgundy and Franche-Comté French regions.
For more information please visit: www.alsacecapital.eu
Cap Innov’Est: Jean-François Rax Legal Adviser: HSK Avocats/Me Vaquer
About Alsace Business Angels
Founded in 2006, Alsace Business Angels is a regional organization whose aim is to develop investments in the local economy and to support innovative entrepreneurs. Its 47 members from various sectors and areas of expertise all have an extensive entrepreneurial experience. Alsace Business Angels’ support to companies takes the form of capital funding and sponsorship support through sharing experiences, expertise and networks.
For more information please visit: www.alsacebusinessangels.com
Bernard Fliegans, Chairman