Paris-based Cure51 raises €15M in seed funding

Investors back expansion of Cure51's detailed datasets across the globe to expedite drug discovery.
Paris-based Cure51 raises €15M in seed funding

French biotech startup Cure51 has raised 15M to pave the way for effective cancer treatments by studying the people who live with the most dangerous forms of the disease. The round was led by life science specialists Sofinnova Partners with Hitachi Ventures GmbH, Life Extension Ventures, Xavier Niel and Olivier Pomel, CEO and co-founder of Datadog also participating.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for 1 in 6 deaths in 2020. Cure51 explores ‘mechanisms of exceptional survival’: the molecular processes by which few cancer patients survive for very extended periods of time despite having highly aggressive cancers, such as metastatic stage pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma. 

They have partnered with top oncology centres including the Gustave Roussy Institute, Leon Bérard Center, Charité Universitätsmedizin and Vall d'Hebron to garner a wide range of ‘outlier’ patients and built detailed datasets documenting and analysing their progress.

Documenting the changes and testing responses of ‘outliers’ on a molecular level is essential for gaining ground when it comes to cancer treatment. Cure51 uses computational modelling to organise disparate datasets comprised of patients’ health data, incoming results and existing literature in close collaboration with clinicians and researchers. They will use the funding to further expand their network of institutions and improve and expand data collection.

CEO and co-founder Nicolas Wolikow comented: "This funding marks a pivotal moment in Cure51's journey, but more importantly, in the path towards curing cancer." 

Europe saw an uplift in pharmaceutical R&D — particularly AI-assisted cancer screening — in 2023, but new regulations governing the implementation of clinical trials means that rates of drug discovery are slowing, with drug-focused startups struggling to progress to later stages. 

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