SeaBeLife awarded over €1.5 million in i-Nov innovation competition

Published: 22-Apr-2024

Funding for company’s SeaBeEYE project will be used to develop a new therapeutic approach for geographic atrophy, a form of age-related macular degeneration

SeaBeLife, a biotechnology company developing drug candidates intended to block cellular necrosis, has announced the award of more than EUR €1.5M in financing for its SeaBeEYE project at the i-Nov 2024 innovation competition. The aim of the SeaBeEYE project is to develop a new therapeutic approach for geographic atrophy, an advanced and prevalent form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Funded by the French government’s France 2030 investment plan and administered by Bpifrance in collaboration with ADEME — the French ecological transition agency — this competition aims to support projects developed by French businesses. 

In this, its 11th financing round, from a total of 149 applications, it awarded funds to 42 projects.


What the project involves

SeaBeLife’s approach centres around a molecule that directly and simultaneously blocks the two forms of regulated necrosis – necroptosis and ferroptosis – responsible for photoreceptor cell death, which ultimately leads to vision loss. 

Its SeaBeEYE project focuses on the preclinical and regulatory development of a novel drug candidate to target the effects of AMD. The company aims to have a treatment option ready for clinical trials in humans by the first quarter of 2026.

“This financial backing is proof of the potential of our project and will enable us to accelerate its development,” explained Morgane Rousselot, CEO and co-founder of SeaBeLife. “We now have the funds we need to move forward, while remaining open to potential collaborations with other industry partners and financial backers.”

SeaBeLife conducted its initial proof of concept using a dry AMD preclinical model. Two formulations were tested: The first a sustained-release intravitreal injection, meaning patients would only need to have injections every two to three months; this was validated in vitro. 

The second a prototype eye gel for topical application (no injections required). Initial in vivo results confirm that this formulation is effective in transferring the active ingredient to the retina.


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