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Startups 2021

Rising Startup

OrganoTherapeutics

Prof. Jens Schwamborn

Innovation & Business Idea

We use Parkinson`s disease (PD) patient-specific models to screen for the therapeutic efficacy of candidate compounds. Differently from classical approaches, we do not base our campaign on the identification of single molecule targets, but on phenotypic screening to identify molecules that can reverse cellular defects, which are the hallmark of PD.
The main pillars of OrganoTherapeutics are:

  1. Availability of a proprietary model, the brain organoids, which recapitulate key features of the brain area affected by PD.
  2. Accessibility to a unique library of PD-patient-derived material thanks to the collaboration with the Luxembourgish National Centre of Excellence in Research in Parkinson’s disease (NCER-PD).
  3. Development of own drug candidates against PD thanks to the access to libraries of chemically defined molecules and of natural fractions extracted from marine and floral organisms in Australia (Griffith University, Institute for Drug Discovery).
  4. Strong Research and Development (R&D) drive to continuously develop advanced models to mirror faithfully the human brain.

Customers / Target Market

It is our business model to develop advanced lead compounds and to out-license them. Hence our customers are larger biotech or pharmaceutical companies.


Competitors

OrganoTherapeutics has unique expertise in leveraging stem cell technology in the field of PD. Several companies offer tissue engineering and develop 3D organoid models. However, no market player currently uses midbrain organoids to conduct screening campaigns for PD. Since this is a very dynamic market, OrganoTherapeutics expects that direct competitors will follow soon. OrganoTherapeutics has unique capabilities with its models and drug development approaches. Three patents have been generated and contacts to several big pharma companies as well as specialized biotech companies have been already established.


Intellectual Property Status

Intellectual Property Status
The founding team has filed the following patents/ application (two granted, one submitted), which are licensed to OrganoTherapeutics:

  1. Monzel A.S., Bolognin S., Schwamborn J.C. (2016) Means and methods for generating midbrain organoids. WO2017060884A1; PCT/IB2016/056054 2.
  2. Bolognin S., Schwamborn J.C. (2017) 3D cell culture. WO2017/060884A1
  3. Jarazo J., Walter J., Schwamborn J.C. (2018) 2-Hydroxypropyl-Beta-Cyclodextrin for use in a method of treatment of a Parkinsonian condition. WO2019219741

Development Status & Future Steps

The company was incorporated in July 2019. Currently about 10 hit compounds have been identified. These should be further developed. Additionally, we aim at increasing the complexity and relevance of our 3D cell culture model.


Exit Strategy

The founders envision the possibility of a strategic acquisition of OrganoTherapeutics. This would generate high liquidity and pay the investors off.


Team Description

Prof. Dr. Schwamborn is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and is responsible for the development of OT. He is also the driver of the research collaborations OT engages in. Importantly, Prof. Schwamborn will keep his affiliation at the University Luxembourg, which will facilitate a continuous flow of innovation from academic research to commercialization.
Dr. Jarazo is the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), and oversees all operations concerning the 3D model optimization and the phenotypic screening. Besides training of the staff and reviewing the production of midbrain organoids, he leads the drug development activities.


Financing Need

We need a total investment of EUR 5.7 million.


Searching for

Commercial Partner, Funding, Collaboration