Genomics and AI to fight cancer

Allox, a spin-off of the Barcelona Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) focused on developing new drugs against cancer, has become the fourth investment of the Sabadell Asabys 2 fund.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
29 November 2023 Wednesday 15:44
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Genomics and AI to fight cancer

Allox, a spin-off of the Barcelona Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) focused on developing new drugs against cancer, has become the fourth investment of the Sabadell Asabys 2 fund. Clara Campàs, founding partner of the manager specialized in health, explains that Allox is the second CRG spin-off in which the fund invests after Orikine Bio.

“We are going to repeat the model,” Campàs said. The manager will provide financing to the new company in the form of a participatory loan to cover the establishment and operating expenses during the first approximately 18 months, until it already has a proof of concept of its technology and “can close the first round of seed capital, with us and some international fund.” In the case of Orikine, the biotech specialized in autoimmune diseases closed a round of 5.5 million euros led by Sabadell Asabys and AdBio. In the case of Allox, Campàs did not want to advance the investment figure, "which will be important, at the level of a leading company in the world."

Allox combines genomics, biochemical biology, data analysis and Artificial Intelligence to identify the so-called “allosteric sites” of proteins, a route that can be used as a therapeutic target to develop drugs. Pablo Baeza, co-founder and one of the scientific leaders of the project, pointed out that the system developed by Allox makes it possible to guarantee the selectivity and safety of the drugs.

Furthermore, explained Júlia Domingo, scientific co-founder of the company, Allox combines an experimental approach with a computational approach in its method, something in which they are unique and which greatly accelerates the process of drug discovery and launch. For this reason, Domingo explained, Allox is confident that in three years it will have identified drugs with therapeutic potential and will even have carried out the first tests on animals.

Allox is based on a technology designed at CRG itself, from which its founders come: Ben Lehner, Júlia Domingo, Pablo Baeza and Andre Faure. The firm, with a laboratory and offices in the CRG- Parc de Recerca Biomèdica, will reach 10 employees in the coming months.

Allox is the fourth investment from Sabadell Asabys' second fund, after DeepUll, a company in which it led a round of 17 million euros, Orikine and the French company Gradient (with a round of 14 million). “We have the fund in the initial phase, and this gives us room to enter companies at the earliest moments, promoting their very foundation,” said Campàs.