France Relance | GoLiver Therapeutics awarded a grant of 1 M€ to produce regenerative cells

22 March 2021

The aim of this project is to manufacture, in France, a cell therapy product from pluripotent stem cells for the treatment of severe liver failure, which currently has no therapeutic solution other than liver transplantation.

GoLiver Therapeutics, a start-up focused on the development of Advanced Therapy Medical Products, is the winner of the «Recovery plan for industry – strategic sectors» call launched by the French Government to support investment and to boost the competitiveness of French industry.
Industrial and Health Sovereignty

GoLiver Therapeutics, which has developed a biomedicine consisting of an injectable solution of allogeneic and frozen liver cells, manufactured from pluripotent stem cells, aims to market a cell therapy product for regenerative medicine at an affordable price and very low production cost. This €2 million investment, 50% of which is supported by France Relance, makes it possible to partly finance this crucial step in part, and also welcomes the deployment in France of bioproduction capacities, which are essential for securing the supply of therapeutic products. The cell therapy developed by the start-up offers regenerative biomedicine to treat:

  • Severe liver failure with no therapeutic solution other than liver transplantation, the only curative treatment for end-stage liver diseases;
  • Chronic liver diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH).

By allowing patients to live without a liver transplant and with their own regenerated liver, GoLiver Therapeutic solution will relieve the healthcare system of need for transplants and also allow the reallocation of transplants to others. Finally, the start-up expects a drastic reduction in the cost per patient.

This grant comes at a crucial time in the start-up’s development: production of its biomedicine at an industrial large-scale to produce clinical batches. This will bring the company closer to a phase I/IIa clinical trial, for which a partnership agreement with the Paul Brousse Hospital, the 1st liver transplant center in France, has already been signed.

“At our current stage of development, finding private funding is not easy because our technology is truly revolutionary but recent in the pharmaceutical industry. In general, investors prefer to support biotechs at a more advanced stage and/or with production technologies already proven in industry. Receiving a significant public fund is a real boost for our development in France and we thank the French Government for supporting our strategic sector and for having selected our project. Cell therapy today is a bit like mRNA 10 years ago: Great potential, but a new pharmaceutical industry has to be built, and this did not make investors dream, whereas today it has made it possible to develop the first vaccines against COVID-19 in record time. We believe that cell therapy, and pluripotent stem cells in particular, will revolutionize patient care. While GoLiver Therapeutics is primarily focused on liver disease, our cell therapy may offer solutions for the treatment of other organs. We believe that France has all the assets to become a leader in the cell therapy industry. We want to contribute to this at our humble level, because it is in France that we want to write the future of GoLiver Therapeutics and we hope to attract visionary and audacious investors like us.” said Tuan Huy Nguyen, President of GoLiver Therapeutics.

“Liver transplantation is used in cases of terminal liver failure. The patient must then take lifelong immunosuppressive treatment to modulate the immune defenses and thus reduce graft rejection. This treatment has certain side effects. What is the alternative to transplantation? Regenerative medicine for severe liver failure holds promise for avoiding transplantation. Goliver Therapeutics proposes a solution based on the capacity of one’s own liver cells to regenerate, it is a treatment of the future.” says André Le Tutour, Vice-President of TransHepate, the National Federation of Liver Patients and Transplants and President-Founder of the Regional Association TransHepate Bretagne Ouest at the University Hospital of Rennes.

About GoLiver Therapeutics –

GoLiver Therapeutics is a spin-off created in 2017 from Inserm and the University of Nantes (CRTI UMR1064) focused on developing Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) to meet a major medical need in liver transplantation. GoLiver Therapeutics aims to become a world leader in the regenerative medicine field by tackling liver regeneration, by conducting the first clinical studies and bringing the first innovative cell-based drug for treating liver diseases without the need for transplant by using the breakthrough technology of pluripotent stem cells.

Receiving the Seal of Excellence of the European Union in 2020, highlighted by Challenges magazine as one of the “100 start-ups to invest in” for 2019, GoLiver Therapeutics has been awarded the France French Transfer Invest 2019, the i-LAB 2016 national Grand Prize for health biotechs and i-LAB 2015 in the emerging start-ups category. Its R&D is supported by BPI France and European Union (ERDF) funding of €400,000 to develop the first stages of bioproduction process industrialization (2018-2020).