This week we depart from East Germany and head south, through both Liechtenstein and Switzerland to the northern region of Italy, Lombardy. Here we arrive in Italy’s second largest city, Milan. This city is the center of fashion, Italian cuisine and is home to Da Vinci’s, ‘The Last Supper’ however, it is also home of our biotech of the week, Genenta Science.
City: Milan, Italy
Financial Data: €10M total raised (as of 03/2015)
Mission: Genenta Science has one primary goal, to develop a new generation of gene therapies based on transcriptional and microRNA-mediated control focused on treating cancers. It is currently developing a gene transfer strategy into haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) to target the production of interferon expressing monocytes/macrophages. Interferon production is being focused on because it exhibits powerful, anti-tumor activity, although clinical use is limited by its high toxicity. Using a combination of transcriptional and microRNA-mediated control, Genenta hope to create tumour infiltrating monocytes/macrophages which selectively express interferons, limited to the tumour area, reducing the toxicity.
Comments: Italy is not so famous for its Biotech ecosystem but some are emerging. Genenta is therefore a good example. Its CEO has worked for Sofinnova Partners, the biggest French VC (N°2 in our TOP15 ranking of EU VCs). This gives him good connection to the financial industries as well as a top understanding of the next trends in Biotech, Gene Therapy being clearly part of them.