Gene Therapy Biotech Founded to Save the CEO’s Daughter Goes Public in France

lysogene ipo euronext paris e1486638993948

Lysogene has raised €22.6M from its IPO on Euronext Paris that will contribute to the completion of clinical trials to treat the rare genetic diseases.

Karen Aiach, CEO of Lysogene, started the company back in 2009 to develop a life-saving treatment for her daughter Ornella with Sanfilippo A. This rare genetic disease severely affects the nervous system of children, who often don’t reach adulthood.

No treatment beyond palliative care exists as of today, but Lysogene wants to change that. The company is developing a gene therapy to replace the faulty gene causing the disease. Lysogene entered the clinical stage in a record time and is now getting ready for a pivotal Phase II/III trial, the last step before commercialization.

Two-thirds of the funds raised in its IPO will be used to support the completion of this trial, while a quarter will be invested in a Phase I/II study for GM1 gangliosidosis, another rare neurodegenerative disease. The rest will be directed towards further R&D programs.

lysogene gene therapy ipo euronext paris

Of note, €22.6M is far below the target range of €30-39.7M. Despite the strong support for existing investors and the compelling story, Lysogene’s pipeline is riding on just two therapies for rare diseases, only one of which has made it to the clinic. Even if its lead candidate makes it, only around 3,000 people worldwide would benefit — a small market indeed.

Still, the company is backed by top VCs that seem confident in it. Of the total funds raised, €15M came from Lysogene’s existing investors Sofinnova Partners, BpiFrance Investissement (InnoBio) and Novo A/S.

The IPO has set the company’s market cap at €82.1M and will support its next steps towards commercialization. We were surprised to see it was launched in Paris rather than on the Nasdaq since the company is very active in Boston and the US stock market is generally more welcoming for biotechs. Maybe Lysogene is saving it for a future time.


For more info, read our interview with Karen Aiach or watch her speaking in a rare disease panel at Labiotech Refresh:

Images from Lysogene

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