More investment for the UPC spin-off Cebiotex to advance its oncology treatment

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CEB-01 antitumoral biomembrane developed by Cebiotex and first implanted into a patient in August 2020

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The Cebiotex research team

A 2.2 million euros investment will allow the biotech Cebiotex - a spin-off from the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital and the UPC - to continue clinical trials with CEB-01 in adult patients and initiate trials in pediatric oncology patients.

Jun 08, 2021

Cebiotex has closed a 2.21 million euros investment round, which involved current partners, the incorporation of new private investors and the crowdfunding platform Capital Cell, surpassing its initial 1.6 million euros target.

The funds will allow the biotech, which is a spin-off from the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), to continue ongoing clinical trials in adult patients with soft tissue sarcoma and subsequently initiate clinical trials in pediatric oncology patients. “Our essential commitment is to ensure that the project keeps its pediatric focus, as it started with the objective of finding solutions for childhood cancer”, states Joan Bertran, CEO and co-founder of Cebiotex.

The drug under development, CEB-01, is a biocompatible and bioabsorbable membrane loaded with a powerful chemotherapeutic agent (SN-38) that is implanted in the surgical site after removing a tumour to prevent the recurrence of cancerous cells that may have remained after surgery. In August 2020, CEB-01 was successfully implanted for the first time into an adult patient with sarcoma at the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital, where the ongoing clinical trial, led by the oncologist López Pousa and the surgeon José Antonio González, is being conducted. This milestone was the result of the public-private collaboration between the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital and Cebiotex.

A successful round after a year full of obstacles
Bertran is pleased with the round’s success: “A year ago we announced the launch of a 4 million euros international funding round that was halted by the start of the pandemic. Despite this, we managed to close a year of uncertainties with over 2 million euros of investment, which we consider a success”, he says.

“Our partners have been a fundamental pillar on this round. The commitment that they have shown towards the project and its mission corroborates the strength of social impact investment.” Now Cebiotex is planning to gain leverage from public funding in order to reach the financial targets set in the previous year.

It also has the objective of reaching a first real exit window to license its drug or the Cebiotex® technology to pharmaceutical companies, and to obtain the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) orphan drug designation, which was already granted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This certification has advantages, such as market exclusivity, and also speeds up drug development for its application on childhood cancer and rare diseases.

A spin-off from the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital and the UPC
Cebiotex is a spin-off created within the framework of scientific and technology transfer between the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital and the UPC in 2012. The biotech’s activity started in 2015, after closing its first investment round. It is accredited as an innovative SME by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and by the European Commission. It has also received the orphan designation by the European Medicines Agency and the 2018 CECOT award for innovation.

Cebiotex has received financial support from equity crowdfunding campaigns on Capital Cell and from Ship2B Foundation, Inveready, family offices, the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), the Spanish Ministry of Industry (ENISA), the Spanish Ministry of Science (Challenges, 2017-2020 National Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation Plan) and the European Commission (SME Instrument Phase I).