Asabys Partners puts the finishing touch to its first healthcare fund by promoting the birth of a new spin-off. The Spanish venture capital manager has invested between $1.17 million and $3.5 million (€1 and €3 million) in the launch of Nuage Therapeutics, which aims to discover drugs aimed at therapeutic targets considered difficult to tackle until now, according to Clara Campàs, founding partner of Asabys Partners.
Asabys Partners is investing in this company, a spin-off of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) and the Institució de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (Icrea) based at the Barcelona Science Park, through a participative loan formula, according to Campàs. In this way, the fund manager completes its first health fund with more than $100 million (€86 million) and investing in more than ten companies in the biotechnology, medtech, and digital therapy solutions sectors.
This first investment will be accompanied by fundraising in which both Asabys Partners and Nuage Therapeutics are confident that other Spanish and international funds and managers can participate. “It is the starting signal to cover the company’s development over the next two or three years,” said Campàs.
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Asabys Partners invests in Nuage Therapeutics through an equity loan
In addition to IRB Barcelona and Icrea, Nuage Therapeutics has been created by researchers Xavier Salvatella and Mateusz Biesaga together with Denes Hnisz, from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin (Germany). The team is completed by Georgina Sorrosal, as operations manager, and Jordina Guillén, as science manager.
The founding scientists of Nuage Therapeutics have spent years investigating the function of some targets that, due to their structural properties, are difficult to approach with classical drug discovery systems. What these targets have in common is that they can exert their activity through the formation of biomolecular condensates, dynamic cellular structures that regulate important processes and whose function is altered in several diseases.
Nuage Therapeutics already has a screening in place for the discovery of new drugs against castration-resistant prostate cancer. In the coming months, the company will initiate trials to address other therapeutic indications. “We have to see which therapeutic targets may be attractive and develop the greatest potential to as many as possible,” clarify Campàs and Xavier Salvatella.
Nuage Therapeutics will investigate and address other therapeutic indications, beyond prostate cancer
Salvatella said that “the time has come to mobilize what we have learned about intrinsically disordered proteins and their condensation properties for the discovery of new drugs”.
Campàs added that “this operation responds to Sabadell Asabys’ strategy of investing in early stages when the scientific quality of the project is excellent, as in the case of Nuage Therapeutics”. For the founding partner of the fund manager, “this technology allows us to discover new drugs in a completely different way to what has been done so far”.
Asabys Partners is a private equity firm specializing in the healthcare sector, founded by Josep Lluís Sanfeliu and Clara Campàs and owned by Alantra. Its first investment vehicle, Sabadell Asabys Health Innovation Investments was launched in 2019 and is backed by Banc Sabadell as a reference investor. With a size of over $100 million (€86 million), it invests in companies in the healthcare sector in its three verticals: biotech, medtech and digital therapy solutions, supporting highly innovative and disruptive technologies.
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