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Minoryx joins the Biopark

February 26, 2019 |
The Biopark welcomes its latest member: the Belgian subsidiary of Minoryx Therapeutics, a Spanish biotech company that develops drugs for orphan diseases that affect the central nervous system.

In September 2018, a group of investors—including Belgian investments funds—injected 21.3 million euros into Minoryx Therapeutics’ capital. This is why the Spanish biotech company has decided to establish its first subsidiary in Belgium, which has been active since January 2019. ‘The Biopark offers companies such as ours a number of benefits,’ explains Marc Martinell, CEO of Minoryx. ‘Geographically speaking, the location is fairly central, within reach of the various Belgian hospitals and centres with which we already collaborate or have plans to collaborate. Biopark Dev—formerly I-Tech Incubator—also offers the infrastructure and advice we need to facilitate our access to the Belgian market. Above all else, we are looking forward to the Biopark's ecosystem helping us recruit the specialised R&D profiles we need.’

Orphan diseases
Minoryx develops new treatments for orphan diseases that affect the central nervous system. The company is especially interested in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD), a genetic degenerative disease that results in paraplegia, adrenal insufficiency, and eventually death.
Three phenotypes exist for X-ALD:
  • adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) is the most frequent (65% of patients),
  • cerebral ALD (cALD), which appears during childhood (35% of patients),
  • Addison's disease.
No pharmacological treatment exists for X-ALD, but Minoryx is working on a molecule, MIN-102, that could act upon AMN and cALD.

A drug in the clinical trials phase
During a phase 1 clinical trial conducted in 2017, MIN-102 was able to cross the blood-brain barrier and sufficiently bind to the PPAR gamma receptor to be effective (based on pre-clinical data). The molecule has also demonstrated a good safety profile, as it was well tolerated by the healthy subjects involved in the study.
MIN-102 is currently undergoing phase 2 and 3 clinical trials in seven EU countries and three states in the USA, on patients suffering from AMN. Results are expected next year. A third clinical trial is being prepared.
‘We have decided to come to Belgium in order to accelerate the development of MIN-102 and its potential indications,’
explains Marc Martinell. ‘This is why we are recruiting experts on clinical trials, on regulations, and so on. Our objective is to address an unmet medical need and offer patients a treatment.’
Candice Leblanc