Sofinnova Taps into Italian Gene Therapy with Three Seed Financings

The French investor Sofinnova Partners has injected a total of €6M into three Italian gene therapy companies, cementing Italy’s reputation as a European center for cell and gene therapies. 

Last month, the venture capitalist Sofinnova Partners used its Telethon fund to inject cash into AAVantgarde Bio, Borea Therapeutics, and Alia Therapeutics. The three firms will share a total of €6M in seed funding to fuel the development of treatments for rare inherited diseases.

Sofinnova’s move follows a €20M injection through the same fund last year in three other early-stage Italian gene therapy companies – Genespire, Epsilen Bio, and PinCell. 

Sofinnova’s Telethon Fund is the largest investment pot for biotechnology in Italy and was set up in 2018 with the Telethon Foundation charity, which has been supporting research into new treatments for rare and genetic disorders for the past 30 years.

Sofinnova Partners’ Managing Partner Graziano Seghezzi told me Italy was a hub of excellence in gene therapy due to long-term support from the charity. The country has many startups due to the abundance of biotech researchers and academics and a strong tradition of excellence in science education.

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