Cracking the GeneCode at RESI

30 Dec

By Gregory Mannix, Vice President International Business Development, General Manager Europe, LSN

The team at Life Science Nation is proud to announce another successful match made at a digital Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference. GeneCode Ltd. CEO Paavo Pilv shares the early days of GeneCode and the process that led up to their latest collaboration with Argobio Studio.

GeneCode Ltd. started as an Estonian market research company called Baltic Technology Development Ltd. in 1998. In 2006, everything from the idea behind the business, the direction, the name, and the shareholder structure changed. We even got new partners to join the science team and a new foreign seed investor.

Our first seed investment for $5M USD was from a private US investor with roots in Estonia. That first investment came from an emotional and strong belief in our scientific team and partners, such as Professor Mati Karelson and Professor Mart Saarma, long-time experts from Tartu and Helsinki Universities. After our first seed investment, we also received several grants and additional shareholder investments. We were patented in the United States in 2014.

After reaching proof-of-concept in 2017, we started to look for professional partners and investors. We began making contact with global pharma companies, but soon learned that we were still too early stage for pharma companies. The positive side of the process was that we saw strong interest and make valuable contacts for the future IND-ready stage. In 2019, we began contacting VC funds directly, as well as attending several fundraising events around Europe.

In 2020, we participated in our first RESI event. It was our first experience of the digital fundraising format at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. RESI has been a valuable tool, as you can find partners with the same interests as you. We had several meetings and also later follow-up meetings outside the event. We participated for the second time in September 2020. One such meeting was with Thierry Laugel from Kurma Partners. We kept in contact even after the event. Thierry also connected us with Argobio in Spring 2021. We signed an NDA, had several meetings, and started the due diligence process. December 16,  2021, we sent out a press release that Argobio and GeneCode would partner on Parkinson’s Disease in Argobio’s first announced research agreement. Read more!

Argobio and GeneCode are collaborating to develop small molecule Glial cell line – Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF) mimetics for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and other indications. Argobio sources innovative early-stage projects on therapeutics from renowned European academic research institutions with a focus on rare diseases, neurological disorders, oncology, and immunology. Argobio selects and incubates these projects with the goal to create biotech companies and develop (or lead) them up to a significant Series A financing.

It’s not too late to sign up for the next Digital RESI JPM, January 11-13! Sign up today to start connecting with investors who are a match for your product and stage of development.

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