CRG spin-off Orikine Bio closes 5.5 million euro seed financing round

By July 20, 2023CRG

• The new synthetic biology spin-off company Orikine Bio, founded by researchers at the BIST centre CRG, is developing a novel proprietary platform for cytokine-based therapies for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

• The spin-off has secured €5.5M in seed financing by initial investors Asabys Partners and AdBio Partners, which will help the company advance candidates through pre-clinical development.

Orikine Bio, a biotech company developing a novel proprietary platform for cytokine-based therapies for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, has announced the successful closing of a €5.5M seed financing that will support the company to advance candidates through pre-clinical development. Initial investors include Asabys Partners, a Barcelona-based VC firm focused on healthcare innovation investing from its fund Sabadell Asabys II, and AdBio Partners, a French life sciences venture capital firm. This is the fifth start-up to be launched by researchers from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), a BIST community research centre.

Orikine Bio was co-founded by Dr. Luis Serrano, Dr. Ariadna Montero, Dr. Javier Delgado, Dr. Alejo Chorny and AdBio Partners in 2022. The company’s unique synthetic biology platform delivers optimised and novel engineered cytokines called Foldikines©. Cytokines are proteins that are produced by the immune system and act as soluble messengers that control the entire range of immune responses, including their initiation, type, potency, and duration. Thus, dysregulated cytokine signaling triggers a wide variety of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, allergies, fibrosis, and cancer.

Orikine Bio’s Foldikines© have unique biological activities that are not available for natural cytokines, making them highly attractive as new drugs for therapeutic interventions. Currently, the company is validating the first Foldikine© candidates, which will advance to the pre-clinical stage with this new funding. The initial focus of the company is to advance these improved cytokines into clinical development for new therapies targeting autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. However, the versatility of the platform developed by Dr. Luis Serrano and his team will allow the development of new drugs for a wide range of immune-based diseases.

Dr. Luis Serrano, Director of the Centre for Genomic Regulation, says: “Orikine Bio is the fifth spin-off launched by the Centre for Genomic Regulation in a short period of time, demonstrating that curiosity-driven research is a critical source for new idea generation and solutions for patients. The creation of this company has been possible thanks to the development of cutting-edge computational and experimental tools combined with decades of expertise in biochemistry”.

Dr. Ariadna Montero, co-founder and Head of Biology at Orikine Bio, adds: “Protein design is a highly-precise task requiring accurate algorithms to generate reliable results. Our unique computational approach makes the process of protein design highly flexible and adaptable to almost any target, speeding up the development process for new drugs.”

Sylvain Sachot, Partner at Asabys Partners, states “Orikine Bio’s uniqueness resides in the company’s profound understanding of the immunological processes underlying autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and its ability to modulate these anomalies. The company is targeting a large medical need, and we look forward to working with the management in developing and bringing new immune modulators to the market“.

Orikine Bio’s Foldikines© could become blockbuster drugs in immunology and this immediately convinced us of the potential of the project. We were highly motivated to cofound the company and shape the initial business plan. We are delighted to welcome Asabys Partners in the Seed Financing, all ingredients are in place for Orikine Bio to become a leader in its space” explains Clement Bertholet, MsC, Partner at AdBio.

Learn more:
CRG press release