Cancer vaccine biotech CimCure raises € 5 million in seed round investment led by Positron Ventures
- Positive results of effectiveness in dogs of the iBoost vaccine-based cancer immunotherapy published in Nature Communications
- Seed round led by Positron Ventures, supported by several health investors including Amsterdam UMC professor and biotech investor Tom Würdinger
- Funds will be used to further advance the cancer vaccine up until phase 1-2 clinical trials in humans
AMSTERDAM, June 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — CimCure, a biotech spin-off of Amsterdam UMC, focusing on the development of a novel vaccine-based cancer immunotherapy through its Immune-Boost (iBoost) technology, today announced that it has raised little over € 5 million in a financing Seed Round led by Dutch VC Positron Ventures. The round was supported by several investors with deep industry knowledge, including the investment vehicle of Tom Würdinger, professor at Amsterdam UMC. With the proceeds of this Seed Round CimCure will further advance the vaccine up until phase 1-2 clinical studies in humans. Dutch vaccine CDMO Intravacc will be CimCure’s partner for the development and production of the lead compound.
The vaccine-based immunotherapy developed by the team of Prof. Dr Griffioen at the Amsterdam UMC and licensed to CimCure, has shown high effectiveness and safety, both in murine animal models and in an efficacy study in client-owned dogs with spontaneous bladder cancer. Late May, some of the research results which underlie CimCure’s innovation were published in Nature Communications (Van Beijnum et al, 2022).
CimCure was founded in 2016 as a spin-off of Amsterdam UMC supported by Amsterdam UMC’s TTO Innovation Exchange Amsterdam and is led by Prof. dr. Arjan Griffioen, CSO, and Diederik Engbersen, CEO. Both have extensive experience in the biotech industry and started CimCure to commercialise a smart, effective and safe treatment strategy against all types of solid tumors at all stages, and can be combined with conventional and state-of-the-art anti-cancer strategies.
Joseph Peeraer, founding partner of Positron said:
“We feel privileged to be able to invest in this promising iBoost technology and vaccine-based cancer immunotherapy, which might become a real game changer in the fight against cancer. This investment in CimCure exemplifies our thesis to invest at an early stage in outstanding scientists who would like to bring a potentially groundbreaking and impactful innovation to market. Professor Griffioen’s invention may lead to a much less demanding, cheaper and more effective cancer treatment.”
Diederik Engbersen, CimCure’s CEO, said:
“We are pleased with this funding round led by Positron and supported by Tom Würdinger. Our first promising findings with murine animal models and client-owned dogs have recently been published in Nature Communications, bolstering our commitment to advance our technology and therapy towards clinical trials and cancer patients globally over the coming years.”
About CimCure’s vaccine-based immunotherapy
CimCure develops cancer vaccines through its proprietary Immune-Boost (iBoost) technology of targeted conjugate vaccines. The company has identified specific targets in the tumor vasculature. Eradication of tumor blood vessels and inhibition of their growth will lead to inhibition of cancer growth. This is an attractive approach for treatment of cancer. However, past and current angiostatic drugs are known for rapid induction of drug resistance and loss of effectiveness, due to intervention in tumor-produced growth factors or their receptors. CimCure’s approach directly targets the tumor blood vessels, which efficiently attenuates tumor growth directly and does not induce resistance. An additional advantage of targeting blood vessels is that the barrier function of the tumor vasculature for leukocytes can be overcome (Huinen et al, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, 2021).
CimCure is a 2016 spin-off from Amsterdam UMC. CimCure focuses on the design and development of a novel class of active cancer immunotherapies. The company is privately funded and maintains a web presence at www.cimcure.com.
About Positron Ventures
Positron Ventures is a € 75m (pre-)seed fund for European science startups that tackle the world’s biggest challenges and can benefit from operational involvement by our team of entrepreneurs, dealmakers and teambuilders.
See for more info: www.positron.ventures
About Innovation Exchange Amsterdam UMC (IXA)
IXA is a network, servicedesk and liaison organization for Amsterdam UMC, offering researchers the expertise of grant advisers, business developers and legal experts to help determine a valorisation/ impact strategy. IXA assists in setting up collaborations with third parties and/or starting new ventures, while managing intellectual property and other legal and financial support.
For more information, please visit www.ixa.nl
Diederik Engbersen, CEO
T: +31 6 46 336 338
E: [email protected] .com
Joseph Peeraer, founding partner
T: +31 6 51 197 847
E: [email protected]
Daniëla Cohen, press officer Amsterdam UMC
T: +31 20 444 3444
E: [email protected]
LifeSpring Life Sciences Communication, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
T: +31 6 538 16 427
E: [email protected]
Huinen, Z., Huijbers, E.J.M., Van Beijnum, J.R., Nowak-Sliwinska, P., and Griffioen, A.W. (2021). Anti-angiogenic agents – overcoming tumor endothelial cell anergy and improving immunotherapy outcomes. Nat. Rev. Clin. Oncol. 18, 527-540.
Van Beijnum, J.R., Huijbers, E.J.M., Van Loon, K., Blanas, A., Akbari, P., Roos, A., Wong, T.J., Denisov, S., Jimenez, C.R., Hackeng, T.M., (2022). Extracellular vimentin mimics VEGF and is a target for anti-angiogenic immunotherapy Nat Commun 13, 20.
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