Creation of LAMINA THERAPEUTICS startup, fostered by SATT Conectus

Strasbourg welcomes a new start-up in its land of scientific excellence:
LAMINA THERAPEUTICS, based on an innovative technology emerging from INSERM and the University of Strasbourg, and supported by SATT CONECTUS. This start-up is developing a new generation of implantable medical devices for regenerative medicine. A promising breakthrough innovation, which could open up new therapeutic perspectives in the field of bone and cartilage regeneration, in particular for the treatment of osteoarthritis, which affects several hundred million people around the world.

Created in September 2020, LAMINA THERAPEUTICS relies on the research work of the Strasbourg scientific team coordinated by Prof. Nadia JESSEL, Director of the INSERM UMR 1260 / RNM (Regenerative NanoMedicine) unit and founding member of LAMINA THERAPEUTICS.

This innovative technology aims to develop a new generation of combined Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (cATMP) for regenerative medicine and more particularly for the reconstruction of bone, cartilage and the osteochondral unit.

Nadia JESSEL confirms this major potential: “Our technology includes a three-dimensional biodegradable wound dressing with nano-reservoirs of active therapeutics and associated with stem cells from the patient. This innovative combination allows a faster and deeper reconstitution of bone and cartilage, especially as it more faithfully reproduces what happens
in the human body. It will prevent the patient from having to undergo a heavy surgery”.

The first application of this innovation: lamina.ONE for the treatment of knee femoral (condyle) cartilage defects. Articular cartilage and bone damage are mostly caused by joint injury affecting a relatively young and active patient group resulting in pain and mobility issues. Other main causes of articular cartilage damage are osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, and bone malalignment. Cartilage does not have self-healing capabilities. If left untreated or mistreated this damage can lead to chronic osteoarthritis, a progressive disease with no cure, responsible for more than a million surgical operations annually worldwide, including 40,000 in France.

From lab to startup
The adventure of Nadia Jessel’s research work valorisation begins in 2011, with an initial financial investment by the Conectus Alsace network, yielding to the filing of a first patent that same year.
SATT CONECTUS – created in 2012 – then takes over and invests €450,000 in 2014 in a maturationproject.
This is when this innovative technology really takes off, as Caroline DREYER, President of SATT CONECTUS, points out: “An exceptional scientific discovery does not suffice to make a health innovation accessible to all. It must be brought to a stage of development that meets the real needs of end users as closely as possible. From this perspective, it must be tested, optimised, and we have to validate that the technology is in line with regulatory requirements before its implementation on a large industrial scale. This is what CONECTUS has made possible by investing in this innovative project, the precursor of the LAMINA THERAPEUTICS start-up.”

This important financial investment of SATT CONECTUS enables the technology to gain in maturity thanks to a scale-up of membrane manufacturing, followed by biocompatibility and efficacy studies
in preclinical studies
. The project also benefits from the support of the Grand Est Region and the ERDF, as well as from the ANR.

The project is thus progressing step by step, to the point that in 2019, the creation of a dedicated start-up can be envisaged: LAMINA THERAPEUTICS. Thanks to its programme supported by the Grand Est Region, SATT CONECTUS grants an expert assessment at the end of 2019.
This study affords the bases of first business plan which identifies the preparatory phases for the creation of the company.

It also enables SATT CONECTUS to accelerate the adventure. Indeed, its experts then put the researcher Nadia JESSEL in touch with NLC, a Healthtech Venture Builder specialised in medical devices and pharmaceuticals, which then helps to build the backbone of the future start-up and structure a strong team.

On the shareholder side, LAMINA THERAPEUTICS benefits from an original support from an individual European private investor, committed to Prof Jessel’s groundbreaking technology and the high patient need for a better treatment. He joins the board of LAMINA THERAPEUTICS as a shareholder along with NLC and SATT CONECTUS.

Clinical trials expected as early as 2021
Today, LAMINA THERAPEUTICS gathers a solid team which will comprise 8 collaborators by 2021. Its activity relies on 3 patent families. In addition, it now benefits from the support of Bpifrance which has just granted its Deeptech aid grant.

The start-up, which will be located in CRBS – the new INSERM Biotechnology Building in Strasbourg – is currently finalising regulatory filing and intends to initiate the first clinical trials in the mid 2021 for the treatment of isolated osteocartilaginous lesions in the knee.

Ineke RIJNHOUT, CEO of LAMINA THERAPEUTICS, confirms this challenge : “Our lamina platformtechnology will change the paradigm of how millions of patients suffering from severe cartilage and bone defects are being treated, promoting an active and high quality of life. Current clinical strategies are often not effective nor durable, hence there is a great need for innovative technologies to efficiently prevent cartilage degradation at an early stage. Our lamina.ONE implantable ready to use kit is easy to apply using a short, mini-invasive surgical procedure, resulting in a very short
recovery time for the patient. Lamina aims at being a leading regenerative company providing innovative nanostructure solutions for high unmet medical needs in the fields of orthopaedics, maxillofacial and periodontal indications. Lamina established strong collaborations with several industrial and academic partners, and is continuously looking to build high-value strategic partnerships to strengthen its portfolio.”

Lamina Therapeutics is a clinical stage platform technology company based in Strasbourg, France, on a mission to innovate bone and cartilage repair. After 10 years of research at Strasbourg University and INSERM, the Company was formally founded in 2020 to commercialise its disruptive nanotechnology platform technology, developed by Prof. Nadia Jessel. Lamina’s lead product, lamina.ONE, is the only functionalised membrane with a controlled release mechanism for growth hormones and seeded with stem cells, offering a hybrid therapeutic action for the repair of cartilage as well as subchondral bone. No other product offers this comprehensive approach leading to full recovery of the patient’s articular function. Following CTA approval by regulatory approval of ANSM, the Company is ready to start its first phase I/II clinical trial with lamina.ONE in patients displaying an isolated femoral (condyle) osteocartilaginous lesion.
lamina.ONE’s nanostructure platform technology can control the delivery of multiple therapeutic agents in combination with different cells to accelerate tissue regeneration for multiple applications.

The UMR 1260 INSERM-University of Strasbourg, created in January 2018 under the direction of Nadia Jessel, is based on one team “Monoéquipe” entitled “Regenerative Nanomedicine” or RNM. The activity of the RNM laboratory is organised around various strategies connected to tissue repair and tissue engineering. They concern domains such as tooth engineering, bone repair, bone metastasis and cartilage regeneration.

SATT* Conectus Alsace is the main entry point for business partners and companies to access to the innovations and capabilities from public research in Alsace, one of the top-ranked territories for the excellence of research in France. It borders Germany and Switzerland at the intersection of the most innovative areas in Europe. Thanks to its investment fund (up to €500k per innovative project), SATT Conectus offers advanced applicative technologies whose proof of concept has been established and which are ready to undergo further industrial development. As a result, Investors
will have access to ground-breaking start-ups built around those breakthrough, yet matured, technologies. Another type of collaboration allows companies to co-develop high-potential innovative projects with public research, in order to tailor them to their specific needs. ○ @ConectusAlsace

Since 2012: 1,205 collaborative research contracts signed;113 innovative projects financed; 103 technologies transferred; 22 start-ups created;
Over €110M raised from investors. Shareholders: CNRS, Inserm, ENGEES, INSA, Université de Strasbourg, Université de Haute Alsace, Bpifrance * Société d’Accélération du Transfert de Technologies