Alentis founder receives prestigious French Academy of Science award

Basel, Switzerland, December 23, 2020 – Alentis Therapeutics, the Swiss biotech developing breakthrough treatments for fibrotic diseases, announced today that Prof. Thomas Baumert, its founder and world-leading authority in the field, has been awarded the Mémain-Pelletier, French Academy of Science award for his ground-breaking research into understanding the pathogenesis of liver cancer.

Said Prof. Thomas Baumert: “It’s a great honor and a mark of recognition for my team, my colleagues and collaborators, some 50 in all. Now we are going to have to redouble our efforts, with a view to bringing our research to patients so they can truly benefit.”

Liver cancer is the second deadliest cancer, and the numbers are increasing sharply, due in particular to metabolic diseases, obesity and alcoholsaid Prof. Thomas Baumert.  “It kills 800,000 people a year worldwide.  Millions of people are at risk and treatments are not very effective, especially if detection is too late.” 

The role fibrosis plays in the genesis of liver cancer is devastatingly clear.  This is why Alentis is developing new medicines to treat, and even reverse the effects of liver fibrosis.  To date, patients have few treatment options available to them. Prof. Thomas Baumert is recognized as a world-leading authority in the field of liver disease.

Alentis CEO Roberto Iacone said, “We’re tremendously proud of Thomas and the team. His academic excellence is second to none and this award speaks for itself. Alentis is embracing the enormous responsibility of bringing an effective medicine to patients.”

Prof. Baumert is the founder of Alentis, a Professor of Medicine and heads the Inserm Research Institute for Viral and Liver Diseases at the University of Strasbourg. Moreover, he is Director of the Laboratory of Excellence HEPSYS at the University of Strasbourg, and Hepatologist at the Center for Liver and Digestive Disease at the Strasbourg University Hospital.  He was a fellow at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Liver Diseases Branch at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda Maryland and the BROAD Institute of Harvard and MIT. 

About Alentis Therapeutics
Alentis Therapeutics, the Swiss-based biotech company focused on developing breakthrough treatments for fibrotic diseases, was founded in 2019 based on ground-breaking research in the laboratory of Prof. Thomas Baumert, MD at the University of Strasbourg.

The Company’s lead candidates are monoclonal antibodies that are highly selective for Claudin-1 (CLDN1), a novel, previously unexploited target with a unique mechanism of action that plays a key regulatory role in the pathology of liver fibrosis and fibrosis-driven liver cancer. It also has early discovery programs exploring the potential of CLDN1 agonists in the treatment of fibrosis of other tissues including kidney. These represent very large and expanding markets with high unmet need. Unlike current therapies in fibrosis, which mostly address the disease indirectly, Alentis’ pioneering approach has the potential to directly modify and reverse the course of disease progression.

Alentis Series A financing is co-led by the Swiss venture capital firms BioMed Partners and BB Pureos Bioventures together with Bpifrance, and additional investments from Schroder Adveq and the German High-Tech, Gründerfonds. The company is progressing its innovative assets and plans first clinical trials in 2021.

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Thomas Baumert

Professor Thomas Baumert, founder of Alentis Therapeutics

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