BCI Pharma to accelerate research projects with €1.9m

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BCI Pharma, a biotech developing kinase inhibitor libraries, announces today that it has received €1.9 million in public funding from the Walloon region.

Furthermore, the company also received €2 million from public-private investors.

The funds will be used to accelerate and finalise the company’s research projects in the fields of cancer, neuropathic pain, inflammation and neuro-inflammation.

As a first step, BCI Pharma created a Belgian holding company and in September 2017 opened a laboratory at the University Hospital of Liège.

The public subsidy was awarded as part of the funding program of the Operational General Directorate for the Economy, Employment and Research. B

The investment and the subsidy will also enable BCI Pharma to initiate proof-of-concept studies and to work towards licensing first in-class or best-in-class pre-clinical candidates for new therapeutic approaches, including neuropathic pain, inflammation, neuro-inflammation and immuno-oncology.

The company’s technology identifies highly active and highly selective kinase inhibitors that target major pathologies and have the potential to improve current therapies as well as provide therapeutic solutions for conditions with high unmet medical need.

BCI Pharma’s Bikin kinase libraries offer both innovative inhibitors with a new chemical structure and selective kinase inhibitors.

Protein kinase inhibitors are a type of enzyme inhibitor that can block the action of protein kinases in order to inhibit the phosphorylation of a specific amino acid. Phosphorylation is believed to contribute to the growth of certain cancers and inflammatory disorders; kinase inhibitors can therefore provide a new approach for treatment.

CEO Dominique Surleraux said: “We were able to attract investors from both the Flemish and Walloon parts of Belgium. We believe that our research can contribute to significant improvements in the treatment of neuropathic pain, inflammation and neuro-inflammation as well as certain cancer types.

“In addition to this, our new lab is located at the centre of the Liège’ hospital where it can benefit from the expertise of well-known scientists and clinicians and a number of technology platforms in the field of genomics, imaging.”