– DENMARK, Aarhus – STipe Therapeutics, a company founded to exploit a novel approach to the stimulator of interferon genes Pathway, a major driver of innate immunity, and regulator of tumorigenesis and autoimmune disorders, has launched today with a EUR 20 million Series A financing round co-led by Novo Holdings and Arix Bioscience plc who were joined by Wellington Partners Life Science V Fund and Sunstone Life Science Ventures A/S.
In connection with the financing Dr Christian Schetter, former CEO of Rigontec, has joined the Company as Executive Chairman and will be also be joined by new Board members, Morten Graugaard Døssing of Novo Holdings, Jonathan Tobin of Arix Bioscience, Regina Hodits of Wellington Partners, and Sten Verland of Sunstone.
“By assembling a group of world-renowned scientific co-founders, alongside experienced company leadership, STipe has the opportunity to revolutionise the treatment of many cancers. I am delighted to be joining the Company as Executive Chairman and look forward to working with my new colleagues to develop novel cancer therapies using our unique technology,” said Dr Christian Schetter, Executive Chairman of Stipe.
STipe was spun out from the Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark in 2018 and is working on harnessing the immune response to target a range of tumours, both directly and in combination with other antitumoral agents. The company is developing first-in-class drugs targeting intracellular protein-protein interactions of the STING Pathway. STipe’s innovative technology has demonstrated that it can significantly increase the sensitivity of the innate immune system to rapidly detect even a small amount of tumour-DNA. This opens up the potential to induce a synergistic immune response alone or in combination with targeted anticancer therapies, immunotherapy or radiation. STipe has identified potential lead compounds that modulate the STING pathway in a novel way, thereby changing the tumour microenvironment and demonstrating antitumor activity preclinically.
Dr Claus Elsborg Olesen, Chief Executive Officer of STipe commented “The successful financing underscores the potential of our innovative technology and product pipeline. We are grateful for the support from our new shareholders and we look forward to leveraging their extensive experience as we develop multi-product opportunities to target cancer.”
Dr Jonathan Tobin, Investment Director at Arix Bioscience commented “We are excited about the potential of this novel angle on STING biology that has the potential to greatly enhance the efficacy and safety compared to other innate immune targeting technologies. The combination of the founders’ thorough understanding of the science with Christian Schetter’s experience and leadership in the immunotherapy space makes this a company with a great deal of potential.”
Morten Graugaard Døssing, Partner at Novo Holdings added: “The successful fundraise for STipe Therapeutics is a testament to the investors’ appetite for excellent science and technology which ultimately can make a tangible difference to patients’ lives. We have been excited to work closely with STipe Therapeutics for the last three years as part of our company creation efforts and congratulate them on this important milestone.”
About STipe Therapeutics
STipe was cofounded and is led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Claus Elsborg Olesen, a serial life-science entrepreneur in Denmark with extensive experience in founding and developing biotech companies, alongside the Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Martin Roelsgaard Jakobsen, the founding scientist, and Associate Professor at Aarhus University.
STipe Therapeutics is a privately held biotechnology company with a vision to become a leader in the immune-oncology field, pioneer therapies using a novel aspect of the stimulator of interferon genes Pathway to target cancer. The Company was spun out from Aarhus University, Denmark in 2018 with the support of a PreSeed Grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and subsequently taking part in the Creation House program, including a convertible loan, from BioInnovation Institute.
For more information: http://stipetherapeutics.com
About the STING Pathway
STING is a key mediator of innate immunity and the STING pathway has been shown to be involved in the induction of an anti-tumour immune response. STING is known to be a central mediator of innate immunity. When stimulated, STING induces the expression of type I interferon, cytokines and T cell recruitment factors that result in the activation of macrophages and dendritic cells, innate effector cells such as natural killer cells and priming of tumour-specific T cells.
About Arix Bioscience
Arix Bioscience plc is a global venture capital company focused on investing in and building breakthrough biotech companies around cutting edge advances in life sciences.
We collaborate with exceptional entrepreneurs and provide the capital, expertise and global networks to help accelerate their ideas into important new treatments for patients. As a listed company, we are able to bring this exciting growth phase of our industry to a broader range of investors.
For more information: https://arixbioscience.com
About Novo Holdings A/S
Novo Holdings A/S is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It is the holding and investment company of the Novo Group, comprising Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, and is responsible for managing the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s assets.
Novo Holdings is recognized as a leading international life science investor, with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life science investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a broad portfolio of diversified financial assets.
For more information: https://www.novoholdings.dk
About Wellington Partners
Wellington Partners is a leading European Venture Capital firm investing in early- and growth-stage life science companies. Wellington Partners is focused on investing in the most promising life science companies in the fields of biotechnology, therapeutics, medical technology, diagnostics and digital health. With funds totalling EUR 1.0 billion, and more than EUR 400 million committed to Life Sciences, Wellington Partners has been actively supporting world-class private companies translating true innovation into successful businesses with exceptional growth. To date, Wellington Partners has invested in 46 innovative life science companies, including Actelion, Definiens, Rigontec and Symetis.
For more information: https://www.wellington-partners.com
About Sunstone Life Science Ventures
Sunstone Life Science Ventures is an independent European venture capital investment firm founded in 2007 by an international team of industry experts with combined entrepreneurial, operational and financial experience. Managing total funds of €500 million, Sunstone Life Science Ventures focuses on developing and expanding early-stage Life Science companies with strong potential to achieve global success in their markets. Since the inception, Sunstone Life Science Ventures has invested in more than 45 companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical technologies and diagnostics, and has completed more than 20 successful IPOs and large M&A transactions.
For more information: https://sunstone.eu
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