The biotech company Oxolife, created to develop a new treatment to improve the female fertility rate, completed its first funding round by raising 5,000,000 euros in an investment led by Inveready Asset Management and the public body CDTI, alongside BStartup as well as HighStick2019, and private investors. The company raised 1.2 million euros from private investors through the Capital Cell platform in early 2020 and was selected as one of the three winners of the II edition of BStartup Health.
Oxolife was founded in Barcelona in 2013 by Agnès Arbat, a medical doctor specialized in clinical pharmacology, and Ignasi Canals, a biochemistry doctor. Oxolife develops a molecule, OXO-001, that acts on embryo implantation to increase the pregnancy success rate. OXO-001 has shown promising results in representative animal models and has completed a first Phase I study with an excellent safety profile.
Theirs is a breakthrough technology, as there is currently no therapeutic alternative on the market to prepare the endometrium and improve embryo implantation conditions. Now on the market, most existing drugs focus on increasing and enhancing ovulation, oocyte fertilization and embryo development techniques. OXO-001 responds to an unmet need in assisted reproductive technology processes worldwide that affects millions of women.
With this investment, Oxolife will expand the Phase I study and conduct a Phase II clinical trial in European centers and clinics in Spain. They will evaluate the effycacy of the drug in embryo implantation in patients treated with assisted reproductive techniques. Following this study’s completion, they scope is to reach an agreement with a pharmaceutical company to complete the clinical development and market the drug. This operation should take place in 2023.
Agnès Arbat, CEO, and CMO of Oxolife comments: “We are glad to have financial partners with such a track record in backing up start-ups. They can provide us with the necessary resources to complete the following phases and bring, as soon as possible, the OXO-001 molecule closer to the market”.
“The extensive development program counts on more than 30 efficacy and safety studies. The studies prove that OXO-001 has a significant effect, with increases on embryo implantation up to 65%”, explainsIgnasi Canals, scientific director of Oxolife. “Safety has been assessed in different animal models and their offspring, demonstrating that the administration is safe for both. Good safety results have also been proved in humans. These results allow us to advance and plan the study in women with a diagnosis of infertility next year, and to know the true extent of OXO-001 in improving fertility”.
“The quality of the entrepreneurial team and the fact that they bring real innovation to an unmet need: the improvement of fertilized eggs’ implantation is what we liked most of Oxolife. In addition to them being in a private and free-price market” says Sara Secall, Inveready’s Life Science Operating Partner.
“Oxolife is an example of new ways of fundraising in our country: specialized venture capital thatmobilizes CDTI’s public capital, and crowdfunding” adds Roger Piqué, Inveready’s General Partner. This operation counted with the legal advice of dwf-RCD, Lexcrea, Venture Tech Audit, and Dinsmore.
Moreover, Oxolife was just selected by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in HealthEIT’s Health Headstart 2020 program as one of 16 Spanish start-ups. The program offers mentorship and funding of up to 50,000 euros for emerging companies to develop their innovations.