Medsenic, a French biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the treatment of autoimmune diseases from arsenic derivatives, raised €2 million funding. These funds will allow it to continue research on arsenic trioxide and promising clinical trials of autoimmune diseases such as Systemic lupus erythematosus and Chronic Graft versus Host Disease (cGvHD).
To date, there are 150 autoimmune diseases that affect more than 6% of the global population. It is the third leading cause of death after cancer and cardiovascular events. CGvHD is an autoimmune reaction that occurs as a result of bone marrow transplants. It affects about 16,000 people in the European Union and 20,000 in the United States and Canada which makes it a rare disease. Lupus affects between 160,000 and 300,000 people in Europe.
Arsenic trioxide has been proven to fight autoimmune mechanisms and many autoimmune diseases may eventually benefit from similar treatment, particularly in a short intravenous injection cycle. This new fundraising will allow the company to continue its clinical development of arsenic trioxide. The treatment is in a phase II of clinical trial and Medsenic aims to provide a concrete solution for this disease. The objective of this study is to improve the response rate at 6 months after the diagnosis of cGvHD by treatment with arsenic trioxide in combination with corticosteroid therapy.
Véronique Pomi-Schneiter, Executive Director of Medsenic commented: “With this additional fundraising, Medsenic’s strategy is now stronger and it will lead to more clinical evidence of the therapeutic effect of arsenic salts treatment for various autoimmune diseases.”
Medsenic, a privately-held company headquartered in Paris, France, makes a medical form of arsenic called arsenic trioxide which is actually used to treat a type of leukemia (a blood cancer).