CatalYm today announced the close of a EUR 50 million (USD 49 million) Series C financing round. The oversubscribed round was co-led by new investors, Brandon Capital and Jeito Capital with participation from existing investors Forbion, Novartis Venture Fund, Vesalius Biocapital III, Bayern Kapital, BioGeneration Ventures and Coparion. The financing will support the continued, promising clinical development of its lead candidate, visugromab, a humanized monoclonal antibody engineered to neutralize the tumor-produced Growth Differentiation Factor-15 (GDF-15). GDF-15 acts as a key regulator of immune cell activation and as an inhibitor of immune cell infiltration into the tumor tissue.
“The success of our Series C financing, based on strong clinical data, is a further validation that visugromab is emerging as a new anti-cancer immunotherapeutic drug with the potential to transform the immuno-oncology landscape.” said Dr. Phil L’Huillier, Chief Executive Officer at CatalYm. “We deeply value the commitment of our new and existing investors, which will enable further clinical development, moving our lead program towards pivotal studies.”
Proceeds from the round will fund the expansion of CatalYm’s visugromab Phase 2 development program. This expansion is based on convincing efficacy and durability results in advanced, last-line patients in Phase 1 and continued positive clinical responses in the ongoing GDFATHER-2 trial (GDF-15 Antibody-mediaTed Human Effector cell Relocation Phase 2). The study evaluates visugromab in combination with an anti-PD1 antibody in patients with advanced solid tumors that are relapsed/refractory to prior anti-PD1/-PD-L1 treatment and enrolls patients at clinical centers in Europe and the United States. First data read-outs from the Phase 2 clinical trial program are expected to emerge in early 2023.
In conjunction with the close of the Series C financing, Dr. Jonathan Tobin, Partner at Brandon Capital and Dr. Andreas Wallnoefer, Partner at Jeito Capital will join CatalYm’s Board of Directors.
“We are encouraged by the extremely exciting clinical data that CatalYm has generated in a short amount of time, demonstrating its ability to advance a program focused on a new target and developing a targeted antibody capable of generating adaptive immune responses in patients with late-stage cancers. We look forward to supporting Phil and his team as they prepare to move visugromab into late-stage clinical development and further investigate GDF-15’s role in immunosuppression,” said Dr. Jonathan Tobin, Partner at Brandon Capital.
“Visugromab has shown most promising results in enhancing the immune response to fight cancer in the first trials, resulting in several impressive responses in patients with advanced tumors and last line treatments. The drug has great potential to improve patients lives and become part of cancer immune therapy regimens given its important efficacy profile and good tolerability” says Dr. Andreas Wallnoefer, Partner at Jeito Capital.
CatalYm has identified GDF-15 as a central regulator of the immune system in the tumor microenvironment. We are pioneering the reversal of GDF-15-mediated immunosuppression to induce a potent antitumoral immune reaction in non-responsive tumors. CatalYm’s lead program visugromab is poised to demonstrate clinical proof-of-concept in multiple solid tumor indications which will expand the treatment horizon for current and future immunotherapies.
About Visugromab (CTL-002)
Visugromab, formerly known as CTL-002, is a humanized, monoclonal antibody designed to neutralize the tumor-produced Growth Differentiation Factor-15 (GDF-15). GDF-15 secretion by the tumor has been shown to prevent T cell migration into the tumor and suppresses T cell function and the adaptive immune response in the tumor microenvironment. This enables the tumor to evade the immune system and become resistant to standard of care and current immunotherapy approaches such as checkpoint inhibitors. Visugromab counteracts these immuno-suppressive mechanisms by neutralizing GDF-15, enhancing the infiltration of immune cells into the tumor, improving both priming of T cells by dendritic cells and tumor killing by T cells and NK cells.
About Brandon Capital www.brandoncapital.vc
Brandon Capital is Australasia’s leading life science venture capital firm, with an international presence and team members across the US and UK. From early-stage seed investment through to expansion capital, Brandon Capital supports life science companies from proof-of-concept through to commercialisation. Our venture model is unique: we don’t just provide investment, we partner with inventors, entrepreneurs and research organisations, providing hands-on support and expertise to increase their chance of success.
Brandon BioCatalyst, Brandon Capital’s Australasian-based collaboration, brings together 50 trans-Tasman medical research institutes, investors, and governments all united in progressing the next generation of medical therapies and technology. Brandon BioCatalyst supports the development and commercialisation of early-stage biomedical discoveries associated with member research organisations, providing both capital and expertise to guide the successful development of new therapies.
About Jeito Capital
Jeito Capital is a global leading investment company with a patient benefit driven approach that finances and accelerates the development and growth of ground-breaking medical innovation. Jeito empowers and supports entrepreneurs through its expert, integrated, multi-talented team and through the investment of significant capital to ensure the growth of companies, building market leaders in their respective therapeutic areas with accelerated patients’ access globally, especially in Europe and the United States. Jeito Capital has €534 million under management and a rapidly growing portfolio of investments. Jeito Capital is based in Paris with a presence in Europe and the United States.
For more information, please visit www.jeito.life, or follow @Jeito_life on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Dr. Phil L’Huillier, CEO
Dr. Stephanie May
Phone: +49 171 185 56 82
For Brandon Capital
Sue Charles, Charles Consultants
Phone: +44 (0)7968 726585
Ciara Byrne, Mana Communications
Phone: +61 (0)41 3519 430