Facio obtains funding from the Dutch FSHD Foundation

Leiden, the Netherlands - February 24, 2016

Facio Therapies has received support from the FSHD Stichting(“Dutch FSHD Foundation”) for a total of €100,000 (about 110,000 USD) for its drug discovery program towards a causal therapy for FSHD. 

Facio will use the proceeds from this convertible loan for its ongoing drug discovery program. This program is running in close collaboration with partner Evotec and aims at identifying small molecules with a positive effect on SMCHD1 and DUX4 activity and as such have the potential to be developed into a therapeutic that tackles the cause and stops the progression of FSHD. 

“We are pleased to contribute to Facio’s efforts of finding a treatment for FSHD. We believe in their road to therapy and above all, we are thrilled by Facio’s alignment with the FSHD community,” said Robert Staartjes, treasurer of the Dutch FSHD Foundation. “We believe in solutions!” 

“We are very grateful for this contribution from the Dutch Foundation. This, and last year’s investment from the Australian FSHD Global Research Foundation, underlines Facio’s principle of being by and for people with FSHD,” said Facio’s Managing Director David Dasberg. “We strongly believe in allied forces and the increasing support from the FSHD community truly sustains our approach to overcome FSHD together.” 

About the FSHD Stichting
The Dutch FSHD Foundation stimulates, facilitates, and financially supports solid scientific research into the causes of FSHD, in order to find treatments and develop solutions that help improve patients’ quality of life. For more information, please visit FSHD Stichting

About FSHD

FSHD (facioscapulohumeral dystrophy) is a skeletal muscle wasting disease that devastates the lives of over 700,000 people worldwide and those close to them. The loss of muscle strength has a huge impact on daily life. Living with FSHD means living with pain, fatigue, and social isolation. Above all, the future becomes uncertain because the course of the disease is unpredictable. About 20% of people with FSHD end up in a wheelchair. Currently, no therapy for FSHD is available other than forms of temporary symptomatic relief.

About Facio Therapies BV

Facio Therapies, established in 2014, is a Netherlands-based company with a single focus: to overcome FSHD by developing a causal therapy that restores the natural repression of the muscle-toxic protein, DUX4. When unduly produced in skeletal muscle, DUX4 sets in motion a cascade of cellular events that eventually result in the muscle wasting seen in FSHD. Facio is the only one in the FSHD field with a fully automated, high-throughput screening platform based on quantifying the DUX4 protein in unadulterated (“primary”) FSHD-affected muscle cells. Facio delivered the first-ever therapeutically relevant proof of principle in FSHD by showing that one of its lead candidates, an orally active small molecule, represses DUX4 levels produced by human FSHD-affected muscle cells in a unique animal model (“in vivo”).

Rooted in, and dedicated to working for the FSHD community, Facio’s business approach is to have a positive impact on lives rather than to maximize financial gain. Since inception, Facio has raised over €16M in equity funding from FSHD-affected families, their friends, FSHD foundations, and Facio’s drug discovery partner, Evotec. Facio’s Board consists of business leaders from the FSHD community – Kees van der Graaf (Chairman; Netherlands), Neil Camarta (Canada), Dave Mackay (USA), Bill Moss (Australia), and Chip Wilson (Canada) – and Evotec’s CSO, Cord Dohrmann (Germany).