Roca Therapeutics, based in Nice, is a leading biotech startup specialized in the discovery and development of small molecules addressing severe life-threatening disorders caused by hypervascularization and macrophages M2 driven immunosuppression.
The company announced the closing of a seed funding round led by 3B Future Health Fund II and SATT Sud-Est.
Roca Therapeutics will use these funds to :
i) to develop its Lead Clinical candidate RCT001 (Metastatic Uveal Melanoma) until IND/CTA readiness in 2023,
ii) and to further expand the company’s portfolio of assets with the nomination of a second clinical candidate against Neovascular Glaucoma associated to Uveal melanoma.
Uveal melanoma is a rare deadly disease with a very poor prognosis and high unmet need. Roca Therapeutics has uniquely designed innovating small molecules addressing dedicated pathobiological mechanisms (M2 Macrophages driven immunosuppression and resistant angiogenesis) recently linked to indications such as Uveal Melanoma as well as Renal Cell Carcinoma and Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Roca Therapeutics has received grants and non-dilutive funding from BPI (French Public Investment Bank), PACA Cancéropôle, UCA (Université Cote d’Azur), Eurobiomed Grand Sud (competitive cluster), the Incubator PACA-Est, Nice Metropole, and Southern Regional council.
“I am thrilled to welcome 3B Future Health Fund II and SATT Sud-Est as new shareholders in Roca Therapeutics, and I would like to thank them for their support as we move forward with developing our lead “First in Class” small molecule asset, as well as targeting the expansion of our pipeline. Today’s investment will be integral to us fulfilling our mission to offer patients with no current treatment options, a potentially extended life and restored vision.”, said, Maeva Dufies, Co-founder, CEO and CSO of Roca Therapeutics.”
“Roca Therapeutics is leveraging an exceptional combination of knowledge of the antitumor resistance mechanisms and a seasoned complementary team to develop new small molecules in aggressive tumors and hypervascularization”, commented, Roberto de Ponti, Managing Director and General Partner of 3B Future Health Fund II. “We are excited to support ROCA Therapeutics’ talented team in converting their highly promising and valuable research into new treatments.”
“We are proud and grateful to have to the opportunity to support the creation of Roca Therapeutics. The evolution of the company and progress of their projects to date is very encouraging and we are delighted to be shareholders in the company“, said, Laurent BALY, President of SATT Sud-Est.
“This collaboration with 3B Future Health Fund and SATT Sud-Est will help Roca Therapeutics to put in place the foundations on which to execute on the company’s strategic goal to offer an holistic approach for the treatment of Uveal Melanoma and its complications for the patients”, commented, Zaki SELLAM, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Roca Therapeutics and Managing Partner of Landmark BioVentures AG, he added, “I am also highly excited to announce that the Board of Roca Therapeutics has decided to immediately initiate a Series A funding round in preparation for funding the clinical development of our lead small molecule asset against Uveal Melanoma and other indications fueled by hypervascularization and immunosuppressive inflammation.”
The Roca Therapeutics Board of Directors now consists of: Dr Maeva Dufies (CEO and CSO, scientific co-founder), Zaki Sellam (Executive Chairman, co-founder, representative of Landmark BioVentures AG), Dr Gilles Pagès (Scientific co-founder), Dr Rachid Benhida (Scientific co-founder), Dr Cyril Ronco (Scientific co-founder) and Roberto De Ponti (Representative of 3B Future Health Fund II).