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Alibion kicks off pre-clinical studies to address Rheumatoid arthritis

09.04.2019 09:00

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Founded in Basel, Alibion is dedicated to developing the first personalized therapy against Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by leveraging existing expertise and resources. Following the closing of its seed round, the startup will kick off in-vivo validation experiments of the drug candidate ALB001 in pre-clinical studies.

A team of entrepreneurs with an interdisciplinary background incorporated Alibion in 2018 in Basel. Following a "virtual biotech" model, that is relying on a network of service providers, advisors and consultants in the US, Europe and Switzerland, the startup obtains licenses to further the development of new therapies developed by academic researchers. The goal is to provide expertise and bridge the gap between the basic research stage and the clinical stages before out-licensing them for commercialization.

“Several research projects never go beyond the basic research stage, yet there are sufficient resources to advance these potential solutions. Thanks to the support from our network comprising of consultants, research and manufacturing labs, we are able to bring these projects to a mature stage much faster and efficiently”, says Daniel Rojas, CEO, and founder of Alibion.

ALB001 as the first product in the pipeline

For its first project, Alibion screened over 4000 projects from which they selected RA research developed by Dr. Joseph Holoshitz and Dr. Andrew White from the University of Michigan. The selected project addresses a highly unmet need and thus has market potential. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systematic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in and around the joints and other body organs. Every year, 41 of 100’000 people are diagnosed with RA, yet proper diagnosis for each patient has remained a challenge due to the differences in the types of RA and severity of symptoms as well as similarities in symptoms of other types of arthritis. Thus, the chances of misdiagnosis are higher.

Alibion will progress with the project to develop ALB001, as the first personalized therapy against RA. ALB001 is the first molecule specifically designed to inhibit a disease-causing mechanism occurring in patients carrying a specific high-risk genetic background. ALB001 has achieved preclinical proof of concept and is now ready for the next stages.

Thanks to the funds obtained from private investors in a seed round, Alibion with a team of three employees has kicked-off operations in Basel and initiated pre-clinical studies of for ALB001. Upon completion, the company will begin the first in-human-studies in 2021.

Alibion also leverages the expertise of Professor Pierre Miossec, a celebrated opinion leader in the field of Rheumatoid Arthritis, who has joined the scientific advisory board. Moissec will support the startup in areas of design for the clinical and personalized medicine strategy. 

(RAN)

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