1. How did Perseo Pharma come about?
Perseo pharma is a spin-off of INOFEA AG, another company also located on the 5th floor. Both companies share the same technology, derived from FHNW in Muttenz, which consists in making enzymes more powerful for all sorts of biotechnology applications. Back in 2017, INOFEA decided to explore the possibility of using its proprietary technology specifically for medical applications. Funds were raised and two years later, an initial proof of feasibility was reached, enabling the foundation of the spin-off. Perseo pharma is now a fully independent privately funded pharma start-up and is using the shared technology exclusively for the development of therapeutic applications.
2. Could you give us a short overview of Perseo Pharma?
Perseo pharma is a very early-stage start-up, we are turning 2 years old in March! We work in close partnership with the University of Applied Sciences Northwest Switzerland (FHNW) and more specifically with Prof. Dr. Patrick Shahgaldian, the main inventor of our core technology and Prof. Dr. Laura Suter-Dick. Our objective is to develop new best- and first-in-class enzyme therapeutics all the way to the clinics. Enzymes can be used as drugs for oncology, gastrointestinal diseases, and rare diseases called Lysosomal Storage Diseases. We are currently at the preclinical stage, where we work mostly at assessing the safety and efficacy of our compounds on human cells. We are a growing and enthusiastic team of currently three employees: Dr. med. Werner Enz, executive chairman, Dr. Emilie Laprévotte, Chief Development Officer, and Dr. Yves Dudal, Chief Technology Officer.
3. What makes Perseo Pharma future-oriented?
Being a drug development company makes Perseo pharma 100% future-oriented. Developing drugs takes time, easily up to 10 years, and therefore we know that our product will come to the market only in the future. We constantly have to think about what the market will be like at this time and what partner could help us get there successfully. Also, innovation is in our genes, we work on intellectual property and generate new patents, which will protect us for the next 20 years. Therefore, we anticipate the future to make sure we make the most out of these innovations.
4. Perseo Pharma is a company founded and based in Basel. What do you particularly appreciate about this region?
Basel is one of the very few pharma hubs in the world and one of the top ones in Europe. It is also a great place for start-ups with all proper infrastructures available: incubators, accelerators, lab and office space, business angels, venture capitals, expertise, etc. It is also a highly international place, at the heart of Europe and at the border of two other European countries. All this makes Basel a perfect location for a pharma start-up like Perseo pharma. It enables us to find the required funds for our development, to find the adequate premises for our activities at different stages of development, and to attract the proper talents needed for our development.