It is estimated that 1 in 5 people in developed countries will encounter chronic pain (defined as pain lasting longer than 3 months) during their lifetime. This results in immense suffering and a significant reduction in the quality of life. Despite more than USD 20 billion spent on pain medication annually, efficacy is underwhelming and most patients only ever obtain partial relief from their pain. In addition to the limited efficacy of current treatments, opioid analgesics come with significant dangers of addiction and overdosing. In this context, the search for novel and innovative pain medications is more pressing than ever.
Biodol Therapeutics, a biotechnology company located in Montpellier and Strasbourg (France), is based on the seminal work of Dr. Jean Valmier, Professor at the University of Montpellier and the INSERM Institute for Neurosciences of Montpellier (INM), and Dr. Didier Rognan, Research Director at CNRS and Director of the Laboratory for Therapeutic Innovation (LIT) at the University of Strasbourg. Dr. Pierre Sokoloff, the company’s CSO, is the former director of the INSERM Unit of Molecular Neurobiology and Pharmacology at Hospital Ste-Anne in Paris and former Director of Exploratory R&D for Neurology-Psychiatry at Pierre Fabre Laboratories. Biodol was founded in 2015.
The company discovered that FLT3 (a known hematopoietic receptor) is expressed on sensory neurons and is instrumental in the generation and maintenance of a pain response. The receptor has been shown to integrate signals from both the nervous and immune systems to modulate pain sensation and is emerging as a promising target for drug development. Biodol has identified a novel class of allosteric, highly selective modulators of FLT3, without the safety limitations of classical RTKi. The company will develop these molecules as a next-generation treatment for chronic pain.
Thanks to the investment by V-Bio Ventures, the company now has the means of developing their novel molecules towards the clinic and confirm their first translational data showing the potential in humans. The investment will allow further optimization of the lead compounds and prepare the company for IND filing by the end of 2022.
Fabien Granier (CEO, Biodol): “We are delighted to announce the investment of V-Bio Ventures. Their knowledge and advice will bring our company to the next level. Thanks to our IP portfolio and following our multiple discussions with pharma, we are now uniquely positioned to finalize the key set of data expected by the pain management industry. Biodol Therapeutics is without a doubt moving forward in providing patients struggling with neuropathic pain the safe and specific treatments they have been waiting for.”
Ward Capoen (Principal, V-Bio Ventures): “The neuro-immune interface is an exciting new area for therapeutics, and we strongly believe that the next generation of pain therapeutics will come from this direction. We are very impressed by the work done at Biodol so far and look forward to help the company bringing their exciting new medicines to patients.”
About Biodol Therapeutics
Biodol Therapeutics, founded in 2015, develops first-in-class compounds for the treatment of chronic pain (CP). Biodol Therapeutics has identified the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK) FLT3 as a key player for triggering and maintaining the chronic neuropathic pain (NP) state. The company is focused on the development of allosteric inhibitors of the FLT3 receptor for the treatment of chronic pain. Biodol Therapeutics already owns the exclusive rights on a portfolio of 4 patents. The company has been supported by BPIFrance, Satt AxLR, Inserm Transfert, Region Occitanie, the French National Research Agency, SEMIA Incubator and Montpellier Business and Innovation Centre.
About V-Bio Ventures
V-Bio Ventures (www.v-bio.ventures) is an independent venture capital firm specialized in building and financing young, innovative life science companies. V-Bio Ventures was established in 2015 and works closely with Belgium-based VIB, one of the world’s premier life science institutes. The fund invests throughout Europe in start-up and early-stage companies with high growth potential focusing on technologies that provide transformational improvements in the biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and agricultural sectors.