French Biotech’s Insulin Resistance Treatment Boosted by €67M Series A


The French company Alizé Pharma III has raised a Series A round of €67M to push two peptide drugs into phase I, including a drug treating rare genetic conditions causing insulin resistance.

The money will advance Alizé Pharma III’s two preclinical drugs into clinical trials, with phase I trials expected to begin in 2020. One drug is designed to treat hypoparathyroidism, a rare condition where patients lack a vital hormone controlling calcium in the blood. The other drug is designed to treat rare insulin resistance syndromes, such as leprechaunism, a congenital condition where patients have low growth and low muscle mass. 

Alizé Pharma III will also use the money to expand its pipeline with acquisitions, as well as opening a subsidiary in the US.

Alizé Pharma III’s hypoparathyroidism treatment is a protein that mimics the parathyroid hormone, which is lacking in people with the condition, causing muscle cramps and irritability. This drug could treat hypoparathyroidism with fewer side effects than regular hormone replacement therapies because it has a longer-lasting effect on calcium levels than the regular hormone. 

The treatment for insulin resistance syndromes is a fragment of a hormone that regulates glucose, called IGFBP2. It has shown potential in preclinical development for controlling blood glucose levels.

This round follows some hefty Series A rounds raised recently in the European biotech industry. For example, the Swiss company Arvelle Therapeutics raised a whopping €159M in February, and the UK biotech Storm Therapeutics’ Series A reached €34M in May.

Founded in 2015, Alizé Pharma III is one of three companies founded by former Sanofi scientist Thierry Abribat in Lyon, France. The other two companies in the group, Alizé Pharma I and II, were acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2016, and Millendo Therapeutics in 2017.

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