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Investors stump up 3.7 million Swiss francs in Onena Medicines

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Investors stump up 3.7 million Swiss francs in Onena Medicines


Onena Medicines has secured an investment of 3.7 million Swiss francs. The portfolio company of the biotech startup incubator BaseLaunch will therefore be able to drive the development of its antibodies designed to influence the growth of tumors.

Onena Medicines has raised a total of 3.7 million Swiss francs as part of a financing round. The venture capital has been provided by the Basel-based asset management firm Avanteca Partners and Zürcher Kantonalbank, the cantonal bank of Zurich. The biopharmaceutical firm Onena, which is headquartered at the Main Campus of Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area in Allschwil in the canton of Basel-Landschaft, is a portfolio company of BaseLaunch, the biotech startup incubator active within the Basel biotech cluster.

Onena has a pipeline of promising antibody medicines to treat cancer, which neutralize a new class of growth factors called dual SMAD inhibiting proteins (DSIPs) that are responsible for programming the cancer cells to grow and induce resistance to chemotherapy. “Our partners realize, as we do, the incredible opportunity that lies before us to lead the AI drug discovery field”, comments Neethan Lobo, CEO and co-founder of Onena Medicines, in a press release.

Efficacy already shown

Onena intends to put the investment towards its efforts to provide in vivo proof of concept with its most advanced DSIP program (OMED-2). This is a first fully human antibody that targets an as yet undisclosed DSIP target protein. The company believes this has the potential to impact solid tumors such as melanoma.

Onena’s flagship OMED-1 program has already shown efficacy in breast, colorectal and glioblastoma preclinical models in vivo. Onena uses its deep learning pipelines to humanize and optimize the binding affinity of its lead molecules.

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