Rhenovia Pharma has announced that it has raised EUR 540,000 (USD 738,000) from its historical shareholders in a second round of funding.
Founded in 2007, Rhenovia is the world leader in biosimulation of the central nervous system. The company uses its unique technology to create computer simulators that predict the effect of molecules both on healthy patients and others living with conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and depression.
The simulators considerably reduce the need for animal testing. They have numerous applications in the pharmaceutical and agrifood industries and within civilian and military security (neurotoxicity).
In 2009, Rhenovia obtained initial funding from a pool of investors drawn from the Alsace Business Angels and the SODIV fund providing support to SMEs in the Alsace region of France.
The second-round funding of EUR 540,000 announced today came from historical investors. The funds provide a boost to Rhenovia's capital and the means for it to add to its team of staff, particularly in the areas of marketing and therapeutic applications.
“The unfailing support of our historical shareholders has helped us to become the world leader in biosimulation of the central nervous system and to sign our first contracts with industrial partners,” said Dr Serge Bischoff, co-founder and CEO of Rhenovia. “This second round of funding is key to building our business development.”
Third-round funding planned for 2014
Rhenovia plans to complete a third round of funding of EUR 2 million in 2014. This will be open to new investors, particularly family offices. To date the company has largely self-funded its growth. It now intends to step up development across the three key markets that it already services: pharmaceutical, agrifood and neurotoxicity. Each of these three sectors has strong growth potential.
By using Rhenovia's technology, the pharmaceutical industry can identify new drug candidates and shorten lead times for development, reducing the costs of R&D. The technology also helps in anticipating risk (of side effects or interactions with other molecules, for example). As a result, it can reduce the rate of clinical stage failure. The health care and financial stakes are therefore considerable.
In the field of agrifood, Rhenovia's simulators help in the study of how the properties of foodstuffs, neutraceuticals and food supplements affect the central nervous system, contributing to R&D in the sector and to the validation of alleged health benefits. Another challenge is to improve the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Rhenovia's technology can also measure the effects of neurotoxic agents such as pesticides, nanoparticles, industrial emissions and chemical weapons. It may also help in the development of antidotes to poison gas, making it of key interest to stakeholders in civil and military protection.
Rhenovia now has client contracts in each of these three markets.
Rhenovia provides high-value added consultancy services based on the use of its computer simulators, the development of new, bespoke simulators and licensing for new technologies.
The funding raised in 2014 should enable a rapid increase in Rhenovia's rate of business development. The company has particular plans to supplement its service offering, structuring it to suit each of its target markets with the intention of capturing a significant share of the international market for biosimulation of the central nervous system.
This market is showing strong growth. According to Rhenovia, it is expected to be worth several tens of millions of euros in 2018.