– SWITZERLAND, Zurich – Inthera Bioscience, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class targeted small molecule therapies for solid tumors, today announced the closing of a Series A financing of CHF 10.5 million (EUR 9.6 million).
The financing round was led by Merck Ventures, with equal contribution from Aglaia BioMedical Ventures and Novo Seeds and the participation of a private investor. In conjunction with the financing round, Emmanuelle Coutanceau of Novo Seeds and Keno Gutierrez of Merck Ventures have joined the company’s Board of Directors. Earlier this year, the Board of Directors had already been strengthened with two experienced biotech executives, Klaus Schollmeier, who has assumed the Chairman role, and Anker Lundemose, joining as independent member.
Inthera Bioscience employs a proprietary technology platform to rationally design small molecule inhibitors of intracellular protein-protein interactions (PPIs). The company’s drug discovery programs are focused on the development of novel first-in-class oral agents blocking aberrant cell signaling in solid tumors, which are currently in pre-clinical development. Since its incorporation in 2013, Inthera’s drug discovery projects have made rapid progress under the leadership of the founders Ulrich Kessler and Paramjit Arora.
Jasper Bos, Vice President at Merck Ventures and former Chairman of Inthera’s Board of Directors, commented: “Having been able to play an active role in this venture and to support the translation of outstanding science into highly innovative therapeutics, has been deeply satisfying. Inthera’s technology has the potential to radically change our perspective on the druggability of intracellular PPIs.”
“I first met Ulrich in 2015 and have been following Inthera ever since”, said Klaus Schollmeier, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “It is fascinating to watch his entrepreneurial spirit driving everyone involved. The continuous progress in Inthera’s lead program is very impressive and a reward for the hard effort and dedication of the whole team. It is a great pleasure to join this exciting endeavor and work with such a strong investor syndicate.”
“We are now in a position to complete the pre-clinical development of our lead program against HPV-associated cancers and expand our operations and pipeline”, said Ulrich Kessler, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Inthera. “I am very glad about the strong commitment from our investors and look forward to unfolding Inthera’s innovative potential in oncology supported by our experienced new board members.”
About Inthera Bioscience AG
Inthera Bioscience is a private biopharmaceutical company focused on developing inhibitors of intracellular protein-protein interactions employing a proprietary technology platform. Rationally designed, these orally bioavailable molecules display hot spot residues on a non-peptidic backbone merging the versatility of small molecules with the specificity of biologics. The broad applicability of the approach has been illustrated against several targets in oncology. Inthera’s lead programs focus on HPV-associated cancers and hypoxia-inducible signaling.
About Merck Ventures
Merck Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck‘s core business areas. From our headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel we invest globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. Merck Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. Merck Ventures has a significant focus on early-stage investing and company creation including the creation of spin-offs to leverage Merck‘s science and technology base.
About Aglaia BioMedical Ventures
The Dutch venture capital firm Aglaia – through its Oncology Funds I and II – invests in ground-breaking technologies that have the potential to translate into solutions for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Aglaia is actively involved in the companies it invests in and works closely with scientists and management teams in the early stages of technological development. By translating high-potential research into commercially and clinically successful products Aglaia gives meaning to the concept of impact investing; combining financial and social returns.
About Novo Seeds
Novo Seeds is the early-stage investment arm of Novo A/S. Novo A/S is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The company is the holding company in the Novo Group, comprising Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S and NNIT A/S, and is responsible for managing the Foundation’s assets. Besides being the major shareholder in the Novo Group companies, Novo A/S provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies, takes significant ownership positions in well-established companies within the life sciences and manages a broad portfolio of financial assets.
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