Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Argobio a 50 M€ new European start-up studio for the creation and development of biotech companies

Esther Nakkazi

Argobio SAS, a newly-created start-up studio dedicated to life sciences, has today been launched with 50 M€ of committed capital for creation and development of therapeutic biotech spinouts. 

Argobio will create and launch at least five ambitious biotech companies over the next five years sourcing innovative early-stage projects from renowned European academic research institutions and it will focus on selected therapeutic areas, including rare diseases, neurological disorders, oncology, and immunology. It will also look to develop promising platform technologies for therapeutic products.

“We are very proud to launch today the first French start-up studio dedicated to Biotech alongside our partners, project on which we are working for more than two years," said Laurent Arthaud, Director of the Biotech and Ecotech investment of Bpifrance.

Argobio was initiated by Kurma Partners, a leading Paris and Munich-based healthcare venture capital firm, and Bpifrance, the French national investment bank who were joined by Angelini Pharma, a private international pharmaceutical company, Evotec, a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company, and the Institut Pasteur, internationally renowned center for biomedical research.

Thierry Laugel, Argobio President & Managing Partner at Kurma, said Argobio has the appropriate capital and environment to make the best of the European early stage biotech opportunities.

According to Peter Neubeck, Partner at Kurma Argobio represents the realization of a longstanding idea at Kurma, namely the creation of a professional biotech project incubator which would allow them to fully leverage the strong proprietary deal flow they are generating from their network with the best European academic institutions. 

Argobio will identify, select, and incubate these projects up to company creation, providing broad expertise in the discovery and development of innovative therapeutic products from its team of highly experienced biotech entrepreneurs. 

"We are very happy and thrilled to start working with this exceptional group of individuals and investors the Argobio concept has brought together with the common vision of turning the best science made in Europe into new therapies for patients around the globe,” Peter Neubeck, Partner at Kurma added.

The investors will have the opportunity to invest in the biotech companies created by Argobio. "we will be able to evaluate promising programs from the top European academic institutions and continue investing in innovative companies that are developing groundbreaking therapeutics in areas of high medical need," said Pierluigi Antonelli, CEO of Angelini Pharma. 

“Building on our BRIDGE strategy and partnerships, we continue to be dedicated to making Evotec’s all-modality technology platforms available to validate and accelerate therapeutic concepts from top-tier academic institutions globally,”said Dr. Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec SE. 

"As an investor into Argobio, we are delighted to work with a group of distinguished partners and entrepreneurs to build companies committed to the maturation of first-in-class therapeutics towards drugs that which will change patients’ lives and cure diseases with some of the highest medical needs,” Lanthaler.

Prof. Stewart Cole, CEO of the Institut Pasteur, announces: "The Institut Pasteur as a strategic and scientific partner is pleased to participate to the creation of Argobio and to the value creation dynamics Argobio aspires to. 

In 2019, we have set up the Pasteurian Innovation Accelerator (PIA) to increase the development potential of our research applications: we are focusing our efforts on flagship projects certified by an independent committee. The investment of the Institut Pasteur and the close collaboration between PIA and Argobio are fully in line with this strategy”.
The team will be led by Yves Ribeill, Neill Mackenzie and Rémi Soula. Thierry Laugel, Managing Partner at Kurma Partners will be appointed President of Argobio, and Laurent Arthaud, Director of the Biotech and Ecotech investment of Bpifrance, will be appointed Chairman of the Supervisory Board.


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