PARIS, France, 30 March, 2023 – Smart Immune SAS, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing ProTcell, a thymus-empowered T-cell therapy platform to fully and rapidly re-arm the immune system, announced today that it has been selected by the European Innovation Council (EIC) to receive funding of €17.5 million to accelerate the development of ProTcell to treat life-threatening cancers and infection.
The EIC investment was made through its Accelerator Fund, designed to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in particular start-ups and spin-out companies, to develop and scale “game-changing” innovations. This last call attracted almost 500 applications across Europe, in all industry sectors. From this pool, 153 were invited to an online interview with the EIC and 32 of them were awarded a grant. Of these, 17 received an equity commitment as well as a grant. Smart Immune was the only French company to receive an equity commitment and a grant.
The EIC Accelerator €2.5 million grant will support ProTcell’s ongoing Phase I/II clinical trials. Smart Immune also receives an equity investment commitment of up to €15 million, which will be used for CAR T-cell application development of the ProTcell platform and bioproduction scale-up. Karine Rossignol, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Smart Immune, said: “We are thrilled our technology has been recognized by the European Innovation Council as a potential game-changer in the way in which life-threatening cancers and infection are treated. This investment will support our ongoing clinical trials in Europe and the US, for our ProTcell therapy platform in acute leukemia and inherited immune diseases. Our goal is to change survival outcomes for patients, by fully and rapidly re-arming their immune systems.”
The European Innovation Council (EIC) was established under the EU Horizon Europe programme. It has a budget of €10.1 billion to support game-changing innovations throughout the lifecycle from early-stage research, to proof of concept, technology transfer, and the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs.
A unique feature of the EIC is that it provides funding for individual companies (mainly start-ups and SMEs) through both grants and investments. The investments currently take the form of direct equity or quasi-equity investments and are managed by the EIC Fund.
The fully-fledged EIC was launched in March 2021. Its unique approach to identifying, developing and scaling up Europe’s breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovation is already delivering tangible results.