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Success stories

06/09/2017

Promising treatments for rare illnesses

Lysogene's race against the clock

Lysogene is a French biotech company created in 2009 by Karen Aiach and Olivier Danos. The company is a pioneer in the fundamental research and clinical development of gene therapies. Lysogene uses adeno-associated viral vectors to treat rare and fatal illnesses that affect the central nervous systems of children.

Karen Aiach founded Lysogene to help her daughter, who suffers from Sanfilippo syndrome type A, a rare condition also known as mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA. After working at a consulting firm and then founding her own consultancy, Karen Aiach launched a research programme on the illness. In 2009, this became the Lysogene biotech company.

Seven years later, Lysogene has two candidate medications in development for the treatment of two debilitating paediatric diseases that cause premature death:

  • The first candidate medication, LYS-SAF302, for the treatment of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA (MPS IIIA) or Sanfilippo syndrome type A, is in late-stage clinical development (phase III anticipated to begin in early 2018);
     
  • The second candidate medication, LYS-GM101, which targets GM1 gangliosidosis, is expected to enter clinical development in 2019.
     

With the support of its existing shareholders, Sofinnova Partners, InnoBio (Bpifrance Investissement) and Novo A/S, Lysogene went public on Euronext Paris in January 2017. It was assisted in this operation by Societe Generale, which acted as bookrunner.

Lysogene raised €22.6 million from the IPO and €2 million from the conversion of convertible bonds subscribed to by Alto Invest, generating an overall capital increase of €24.6 million.

These new funds will provide Lysogene with additional resources to finance its activities and continue developing its technological platforms and candidate medications through:

  • pivotal trials of LYS-SAF302 conducted in Europe and the United States for Sanfilippo syndrome type A;
  • phase I/II trials of LYS-GM101 for GM1 gangliosidosis;
  • the financing of the company's ongoing operations outside the scope of these two R&D programmes.
     

Lysogene has become a leading player in rare neurological disorders. Our company's financing needs change rapidly in line with the short cycles of trials and the development of therapeutic programmes. Going public was the most appropriate solution at that stage. The support from our longstanding financial partners and the guidance from the teams at Societe Generale with this key operation were essential. We have no time to lose, and the newly-raised funds will help us continue our race against the clock”.

 explains Karen Aiach, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lysogene.