Portugal Ventures bolsters biotech with its first investment in BSIM2
Portugal Ventures has added BSIM2 to its health and biotechnology investment portfolio with its first investment in the company in the amount of 150 thousand Euros, which may amount to a total of 550 thousand Euros if the established milestones are met.
BSIM2 was founded in 2011 by Carlos Simões and Rui Brito, two researchers who hail from Coimbra, is a biotech start-up dedicated to the discovery and development of medicinal products to fight neurodegenerative amyloid diseases.
Portugal Ventures’ investment will enable BSIM² to develop a new set of products to fight Paramyloidosis, which is a rare pathology that occurs especially in Portugal, Sweden, Japan, Brazil and in the United States. The products that are currently under development not only have the potential to be even more efficient than the only medicinal product currently available on the market, but they will also be optimised and formulated for other clinical manifestations of the disease that are not being treated today. The high socio-economic impact of FAP [Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy] and the purpose of providing increased longevity and quality of life for the patients requires the development of therapeutic alternatives which are less invasive than a liver transplant.
According to Rui Brito, co-founder and CEO of the company, the investment from Portugal Ventures is crucial for the current phase of product development, in particular “the precise optimisation and pre-clinical development of the molecules. We hope to have truly effective therapeutic solutions for the treatment of FAP [Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy] and its various clinical manifestations in the next five years.”
Celso Guedes de Carvalho, CEO of Portugal Ventures, says that “this investment reinforces Portugal Ventures’ solid commitment to developing the health and biotech sectors, playing a prominent role in supporting scientific innovation conducted by highly qualified researchers of excellence, such as the team at BSIM²”.
Portugal Ventures has a strong presence in the health and biotechnology sectors, namely through its investments in companies such as Luzitin (photodynamic therapy which is effective against primary tumours and metastasis), Genepredit (development of genomic platforms for research into gene phenotypes focusing especially on obesity), TreatU (development of platforms based on nanotechnology for the treatment of cancer), Immunethep (development of treatments for pathologies of the Immune System) and Lymphact (development of innovative therapies with clinical applications for cancer and chronic viral diseases).
About the Founders
Carlos Simões has a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a doctorate in Biological Chemistry from the University of Coimbra, completed in 2005 and 2012 respectively. In 2006, he participated in the Doctoral Program in Computational Biology at the Gulbenkian Institute of Science and, between 2007 and 2010, was a researcher at the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Leeds University, in England.
Rui Brito graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Coimbra, obtained his doctorate in Biochemistry at Rice University, in Houston, USA, and attended post-doctoral studies at the University of Oxford , in England. Since then, he has been a professor at the University of Coimbra and was visiting scientist at the Universities of Cincinnati and Johns Hopkins, in the USA, and at the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie, in Berlin.