Alizé Pharma III collects $1.94 mln

Alizé Pharma III SAS, a developer of biopharmaceutical products that treat metabolic disorders and rare diseases, has raised $1.94 million in funding. The investors included Sofimac Partners via their FCPI Emergence Innovation 1 seed capital fund, Octalfa, Sham Innovation Santé, Rhône-Alpes Création, Crédit Agricole Création, CEMA and TAB Consulting.


Lyon, France, March 17, 2015 – Alizé Pharma III SAS, an Alizé Pharma company specialized in the development of biopharmaceutical products to treat metabolic disorders and rare diseases, today announces that it has raised €1.8 million (USD $1.94 million) in a first financing round.

The funding round was supported by a syndicate of investors that included Sofimac Partners via their FCPI Emergence Innovation 1 seed capital fund, Octalfa, Sham Innovation Santé, Rhône-Alpes Création, Crédit Agricole Création, CEMA and TAB Consulting.

Alizé Pharma III will use the funds to conduct a pharmacology and lead optimization program on a family of peptides with anabolic effects on the bone. The I-HBD1 program will be performed in collaboration with Alizé Pharma III’s US partner New Paradigm Therapeutics Inc., a spin-off from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill founded by Dr. David Clemmons. The aim of the program is to select a drug candidate that will enter development for the treatment of osteoporosis and other diseases with impaired bone metabolism in 2016.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, over 200 million patients worldwide live with osteoporosis and the disease causes almost 9 million fractures each year. The global market for osteoporosis drugs was estimated at over $8.3 billion in 2014, with significant growth expected in the coming years. The current treatments are mostly antiresorptive therapies; there is an unmet need for safer, more cost-effective anabolic therapies that are able to build new bone for these patients.

“I would like to thank all those investors who contributed to this first financing round for Alizé Pharma III,” said Thierry Abribat, manager of TAB Consulting, president of Alizé Pharma III. “I am grateful to those who have already invested in other companies in the group for their renewed support. I am also delighted to welcome new financial partners on board just as we are kicking off a new project, an important milestone in our growth and globalization.”

“We were impressed by the achievements so far of the Alizé Pharma team with a novel business model,” added François Miceli, a partner at Sofimac Partners and the manager of the Emergence Innovation 1 fund. “We are delighted to be contributing to the launch of this new project on osteoporosis, which is based on a robust scientific approach and a high quality international partnership.”

About the I-HBD1 Program
The I-HBD1 program aims to optimize and develop a new peptide derived from a fragment of a physiological protein, called IGFBP-2 (Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Protein-2). In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that this peptide can induce the formation of bone tissue by stimulating osteoblast differentiation and inhibiting osteoclast differentiation. This new mechanism of action is unique and may potentially lead to the development of a new therapeutic anabolic approach in treating osteoporosis and several other diseases associated with impaired bone metabolism. The I-HBD1 project is performed in collaboration with New Paradigm Therapeutics, a spin-off company of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill founded by Professor David Clemmons. The International Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that osteoporosis affects more than 200 million people worldwide and causes almost 9 million fractures each year.

About Alizé Pharma
Alizé Pharma is a group of companies specialized in the development of innovative biopharmaceutical drugs, proteins and peptides for the treatment of metabolic diseases and rare diseases. The management is a team of drug development experts. The board of directors has a breadth of international experience. Its business strategy is to advance programs based on medical innovation to the clinical stage and establish partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to secure both short- and long-term revenue streams. Since its creation in 2007 the group has raised €15.1 million from private and institutional investors. It has advanced two programs to the clinical phase and has also signed its first industrial partnership.
Alizé Pharma SAS is working on a peptide derived from unacylated ghrelin (AZP-531). This program is in Phase II clinical development for the treatment of Prader-Willi syndrome and in Phase Ib for type 2 diabetes.

Alizé Pharma II SAS is focusing on the development of ASPAREC®, a new pegylated recombinant L-asparaginase for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is partnered with Jazz Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: JAZZ) and is currently in Phase II/III clinical development.

Founded in 2014, Alizé Pharma III SAS has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize a family of new peptides with bone anabolic properties.

About Sofimac Partners
Sofimac Partners is a multi-regional and independent management firm approved by the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers – French financial markets authority). Based in Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon, Orléans and Limoges, Sofimac Partners has supported non-listed SMEs for 38 years in their medium- and long-term growth plans, by using a wide range of investment vehicles that address all development challenges encountered by companies (creation, initial development, growth capital, buyout capital and turnaround financing). Investing in a wide variety of general and technological sectors and with the support of a team of multidisciplinary and experienced investors based in several regions, Sofimac Partners has supported more than 360 SMEs since its inception in 1977. Sofimac Partners has a loyal network of private and institutional investors, including most prominently bpifrance and the State as part of France’s Investing in the Future program (PIA), via the FNA (Fonds National d’Amorçage – French national seed-stage fund). Sofimac Partners currently manages over €270 million of assets, across 18 funds, invested in more than 150 companies.

Initiative OCTALFA was founded by the Alberici family to support groundbreaking advances in healthcare and sustainable development and to improve the lives of people with cancer and disabilities. Its two investment companies, Octalfa and Otonnale, provide capital (up to €2.5m in one or more financial rounds) for innovative France-based start-ups in the healthcare and sustainable development sectors. Since 2007, more than ten companies have been financed.
Octalfa also supports Octalfa 360 enjeux d’avenir (a French mutual fund), which focuses on life sciences, energy and cleantech listed companies; and R2V, a seed-capital fund targeting businesses in South-East of France).

Finally, Octalfa, through the Fondation Dominique & Tom Alberici, finances and manages humanitarian projects to improve the lives of people with cancer and disabilities in France and Madagascar. To date, this foundation, established in 2008, has supported nearly 60 such projects.

About Sham Innovation Santé
Founded in May 2014, Sham Innovation Santé is an innovation capital vehicle controlled and held by Sham, a mutual insurer specialized in risk management for health care, social welfare and community health organizations. Advised by Turenne Capital, Sham Innovation Santé’s mission is to support innovative businesses in the health care sector through the growth and development phases of their life cycle. and

About Rhône-Alpes Création
Rhône-Alpes Création is a privately held company playing a key role in the early stage financing ecosystem at seed and venture capital levels for startups. Established in 1990 by Région Rhône-Alpes with support from local banks, it now manages €69 million and has supported more than 250 companies.

Its team of nine investment professionals currently manages a portfolio of 60 promising companies.

About Crédit Agricole Création
CA Création is a capital investment company specialized in providing equity support to innovative young businesses. A wholly owned subsidiary of Crédit Agricole Centre-est, CA Création has been supporting projects in its region (the Rhône, Ain, Saône et Loire and Nord Isère-Drôme-Ardèche areas of France) for 15 years, generally in partnership with local benchmark players in capital investment.

Upholding the values of Crédit Agricole’s mutual model, CA Création plans to scale up its involvement in innovative projects, particularly in the housing, health, environment and food-processing sectors.