NextImmune, a spin-off from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, has received financial support of 150,000 Swiss francs from the Venture Kick funding initiative. The start-up develops a new generation of immunosuppressive drugs for autoimmune diseases and organ transplantation.
The company NextImmune, founded at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel in 2021, focuses on the development of selective immunosuppressive therapy. This novel class of drugs specifically suppresses the immune system and protects against organ transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases. According to NextImmune, the funding provided by Venture Kick will be used for further preclinical development.
“The financial support, business insights, access to a smart pool of diversely talented individuals together with the overall experience gathered from our Venture kick journey will be instrumental for the follow-up fundraising activities of NextImmune,” says Rajesh Jayachandran MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of NextImmune.
Development of selective immunosuppressive drugs
The company founders have developed small molecules that interfere with the so-called coronin-1 signaling pathway, which plays a role in the activation of immune cells, and selectively suppress the immune response. In this way, autoimmune responses and transplant rejections can be prevented.
In contrast to conventional, non-selective immunosuppression, the immune defense against infections or tumors is not affected. The innovative screening assay and the identified compounds are an important milestone in the development of specific and safe immunosuppressive therapies.
NextImmune was one of the first start-ups to receive a Propelling Grant from the Innovation Office of the University of Basel. Last year, the company joined the portfolio of the BaseLaunch funding program of Basel Area Business & Innovation, the innovation and investment promotion agency for the Basel region.
Venture Kick initiative
Venture Kick was launched in 2007 with the vision to double the number of spin-offs from Swiss universities, to accelerate their speed-to-market and to raise the attractiveness of these young companies among professional investors and industry partners. Since its launch, Venture Kick has supported 841 Swiss startup projects with almost 40 million Swiss francs. In 2022, Venture Kick will pay out 6.1 million Swiss francs to idea-stage startup projects to bring Swiss science to global markets.