Biotech SeaBeLife awarded €1.5M to combat visual degeneration

The biotech was crowned a winner of the i-Nov 2024 competition, which is funded by the French government.
Biotech SeaBeLife awarded €1.5M to combat visual degeneration

SeaBeLife, a biotech company developing drugs intended to block cellular necrosis, has been awarded over €1.5M for its SeaBeEYE project at the i-Nov 2024 innovation competition.

Funded by the French government’s France 2030 investment plan and administered by Bpifrance in collaboration with ADEME, the French ecological transition agency, the competition aims to support some of the highly innovative projects developed by French businesses.

Geographic atrophy is a serious ophthalmological disease that affects over five million patients worldwide. The SeaBeEYE project is to develop a new therapeutic approach for geographic atrophy, an advanced and prevalent form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). With few treatment options, this is one of the most significant unmet needs in the field of ophthalmology. 

SeaBeLife’s approach centres around a molecule that directly and simultaneously blocks the two forms of regulated necrosis – necroptosis and ferroptosis – responsible for photoreceptor cell death, which ultimately leads to vision loss.

Its project focuses on the preclinical and regulatory development of a drug candidate with an innovative formulation. The company aims to have a treatment option ready for clinical trials in humans by the first quarter of 2026.

SeaBeLife conducted its initial proof of concept using a dry AMD preclinical model. Two innovative formulations were tested: The first a sustained-release intravitreal injection, meaning patients would only need to have injections every two to three months. This was validated in vitro. The second a prototype eye gel for topical application (no injections required). Initial in vivo results confirm that this formulation is effective in transferring the active ingredient to the retina.

“This financial backing is proof of the quality and potential of our project and will enable us to accelerate its development,” explained Morgane Rousselot, CEO and co-founder of SeaBeLife. “We now have the funds we need to move forward, while remaining open to potential collaborations with other industry partners and financial backers.”

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