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The ACE-List: IMMOON Therapeutics

Get to know ACE startup founders & find out what drives them!

The ACE-List: We are proud and excited to introduce our awesome startup founders. The ACE-List is a regular installment where startup teams from the ACE Incubation Program introduce themselves and share a little insight into their startup journey!

Meet the founders!

Company: IMMOON Therapeutics
Industry: Life sciences, biotech
Founded in: 2019

Founder:

Nataliya Yeremenko (Founder, PhD, immunology and cell biology) & Vladimir Krasikov (Co-founder, PhD, biophysics and bioinformatics)

In short:

IMMOON Therapeutics is an early-stage biotech company with a focus on drug development for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

How did you come up with your startup idea?

After a decade of translational research in the area of autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases, we have identified molecular path playing a crucial role in the regulation of immunological memory. The idea to create a company appeared two years ago at the congress where we met an expert in structural biology who has a strong interest in the same target for many years.

What is your company’s unique proposition?

Using a combination of ex vivo, in situ and in vivo approaches we have identified the new mechanism that controls the generation of pathogenic autoimmune responses. We develop an approach, which would interfere with the course of the disease on the high hierarchical level enabling regulation of immunological memory by resetting unfavorable autoimmune responses in contrast to current therapeutic strategies that designed to target consequences of ongoing inflammation. We develop first-in-class small molecule drug compounds for selective targeting of this pathogenic path. We have discovered a lead compound and confirmed its ability to modulate immune responses in vitro.

What has been your ACE moment?

We have learned a lot at ACE, got valuable feedback from mentors and established many connections. The first intensive week of boot camping and pitching in front of peers and critical jury was the most memorable part of the program. That helped us a lot in rethinking strategy of the development and to shape our idea from a business perspective.

What has the shift from academia to entrepreneurship been like for you?

I always enjoyed the basic science. I have got strong determination to pursue translational research, which crosses the boundary between the molecular advances at the bench and their use in developing new treatments after I joined the group of Prof. Baeten in AMC. Our major goal was to understand the fundamental science and translate this knowledge to treat pathological conditions. In our team, we designed early-stage clinical trials to evaluate compounds developed against novel targets or involving new mechanisms. During this time, I strengthen my aspiration to bring my knowledge to the real world and establish a biotech startup.

What is the best advice you could give someone who wants to start their own business?

Stick with your idea, build a strong team around it, do not afraid to pitch as much as possible and be ready to reshape and rethink development, be quick with decisions and try to meet deadlines.

What are your next steps for the coming months/half year?

Securing IP, company incorporation, product development and validation, applying for grants, pitching to investors and searching for partnerships.

How can someone who is interested in you or your startup contact you?

Via email: Immoon.Therapeutics@gmail.com

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