Woman-Led Monaco Biotech Gets Seed Funding

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Woman-Led Monaco Biotech Gets Seed Funding

LUDI Theraputics CEO Cindy Benod.

LUDI Therapeutics, a regenerative medicine biotech company based in Monaco dedicated to developing treatments for sports injuries, has announced that it has secured seed investment from Sport Horizon Holding to tackle muscle injuries.

Sport Horizon Holding is an innovative hub investing in the most promising and visionary startups that will make a profound and sustainable impact in the sport industry.

LUDI cofounder and CEO Cindy Benod, who has spent most of her career in the U.S. finding cures for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, tells Forbes Monaco, “The global sports medicine market is growing at an unprecedented pace due to a significant increase in sports and physical fitness related activities.”

With some 60 million muscle injuries per year accounted for worldwide, the global sport medicine market is estimated to be €7.3 billion ($8.8 billion) and is expected to reach €12.5 billion ($15.2 billion) by 2027.

Now that investment is secured, LUDI Therapeutics is responding to top European soccer clubs explaining the unmet need for treating muscle injuries and is starting its Research and Development program to bring to the market a breakthrough treatment for muscle injuries.

Romy Gai, Chairman of AWE Sport International Group and former Chief Revenue Officer and Marketing Director of the Juventus Football Club comments, “During my career, I witnessed first-hand the impact of muscle injuries on an athlete's career and how muscle injuries hurt sport institutions. The approach taken by LUDI Therapeutics is truly innovative and could be a game changer in our industry.”

Over the next three years until first-in-human studies, LUDI will regularly raise funds to sustain its R&D efforts and will be working on strengthening relationships with stakeholders—sports doctors, athletes, sport clinics—locally and internationally. At least two other rounds of investments are being planned, a series A of around €5 million before the end of the year and another round before the end of 2024.  

The long-term vision is to build a strong Monaco-based pharmaceutical R&D company with multiple assets in our portfolio for targeting sport injuries.

The company’s original team of cofounders Benod, Guillaume Poncet-Montange and Juli Ferre Nadal and associate Monaco Foundry, created by Fabrice Marquet and Brian Frederiksen in 2020, recently expanded. On the operational end, finance and value creation expert Elena Suciu, and Lawrence Senour, a former Merck executive with more than two decades of experience in M&A, venture and equity investing, licensing and commercial agreements, have joined LUDI.

The team also welcomed a world-renowned drug designer, a veteran of the pharmaceutical industry whose name will be disclosed during Series A, and American medical advisor Russell Steves, former Head of Athletics for the New York Red Bulls soccer team and an experienced physical therapist.

Today less than 10% of biotech companies worldwide have a woman as CEO. 

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Nancy Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.