V-Bio Ventures leads AgomAb Therapeutics’
Euros 21m Series A Financing
- EUR 21m Series A secured with international investor syndicate co-led by V-Bio Ventures (Belgium) and Advent France Biotechnology (France), and joined by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (Germany), Omnes (France) and Pontifax (Israel)
- Senior appointments announced including Tim Knotnerus as Chief Executive Officer, Torsten Dreier as Chief Development Office, and John Haurum as Chairman of the Board of Directors
- Exclusive license for HGF-mimetic SIMPLE Antibodies™, developed as a value-creating partnership with argenx SE (Netherlands) under its Innovative Access Program
Ghent, Belgium, 3 April 2019. 2019 – AgomAb Therapeutics N.V. (‘AgomAb’), a privately held Belgian biotherapeutics company developing agonistic antibodies for regeneration of damaged tissues, announces today that it has secured EUR 21m in a Series A financing round from a strong international investor syndicate. It also announces the exercise of an exclusive license agreement with argenx SE (Euronext & Nasdaq: ARGX, ‘argenx’) and a number of senior appointments to its Leadership Team and Board of Directors.
AgomAb was founded in 2017 based on the groundbreaking work of Paolo Michieli and his translational medicine team at the University of Torino, Italy, who have been studying the biology of Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) for almost 20 years. In collaboration with argenx, the Company is developing growth factor-mimetic agonistic monoclonal antibodies (“agomAbs”) with the potential to regenerate damaged tissues and has produced a comprehensive preclinical package illustrating a range of applications in the fields of fibrotic, inflammatory, autoimmune and degenerative diseases.
Paolo Michieli commented: “The regenerative and anti-fibrotic potential of HGF has been known for decades, but its translation to the clinic has been challenging. While HGF-mimetic agomAbs maintain the full therapeutic potential of HGF, they display the excellent drug-like properties of antibodies, holding the promise for regeneration of fibrotic tissues in a variety of clinical indications.”
AgomAb has attracted an experienced Leadership Team including Tim Knotnerus, MSc, MBA, Paolo Michieli, PhD, and Torsten Dreier, PhD.
- Tim recently joined AgomAb as Chief Executive Officer from AM-Pharma, a privately held biotech company where he was VP Corporate Development. Prior to AM-Pharma, Tim was at Aescap Venture, a European VC fund.
- AgomAb’s founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Paolo, is Laboratory Chief at the University of Torino Medical School in Italy. Prior to opening his lab in Torino, he spent several years conducting research at the National Cancer Institute, NIH in Bethesda, Maryland.
- Torsten joined AgomAb as Chief Development Officer. Prior to AgomAb, he was co-founder and Chief Development Officer at argenx. Torsten has been developing antibodies for more than 20 years and has progressed 10 antibody products from preclinical research into clinical trials.
Tim Knotnerus commented: “We are pleased to have the support of this international syndicate of high-quality life sciences investors. Based on the cutting-edge science of Paolo and his team, combined with the development expertise of Torsten, we have the opportunity to develop best-in-class therapeutics for indications with high unmet medical need. We are committed to bringing innovative treatments to patients and to establishing AgomAb as a leader in its field.”
Dr. John Haurum has been appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors of AgomAb. John is an experienced Life Sciences Executive and Board Member. Most recently, he was Chief Executive Officer of F-star, a leader in the discovery and development of novel bispecific antibodies that target the immune system.
John Haurum commented: “Anti-fibrotic regenerative stimulation of the HGF pathway is an exciting novelapproach which holds promise in a range of hard-to-treat inflammatory conditions. I am very excited to be joining AgomAb and look forward to supporting the experienced Leadership Team in developing this breakthrough approach and improve outcomes for patients.”
Katja Rosenkranz, Partner at V-Bio Ventures, commented: “We are proud that the two years incubation of AgomAb led to this fantastic financing round. The AgomAb team continues to impress us with new data demonstrating the potential of this approach for fibrotic and degenerative diseases and we are very excited to be part of this journey.”
Matthieu Coutet, Managing Partner at Advent France Biotechnology, added: “The strength of the investor syndicate and the size of this financing round underscores the belief in the team and the potential of the company’s innovative technology, which may revolutionize the treatment of fibrosis and other diseases.”
AgomAb today also announced that it has exercised an exclusive license with argenx SE for the use of HGF-mimetic SIMPLE Antibodies™, developed as a value-creating partnership under argenx’s Innovative Access Program. argenx’s SIMPLE Antibody™ Platform is based on the powerful llama immune system.
Following the financing and the new appointments, AgomAb’s Board of Directors comprises John Haurum as Chairman, Matthieu Coutet from Advent France Biotechnology, Ohad Hammer from Pontifax, Claire Poulard from Omnes, Katja Rosenkranz from V-Bio Ventures, Ilka Wicke from BIVF and Paolo Michieli as Founder.
About AgomAb Therapeutics N.V.
AgomAb was founded through a collaboration between argenx and the University of Torino, Italy, based on the groundbreaking work of Paolo Michieli and his translational medicine team. The Company is developing growth factor-mimetic agonistic monoclonal antibodies to regenerate damaged tissues and has produced a comprehensive preclinical package illustrating different applications in the fields of fibrotic, inflammatory, autoimmune and degenerative diseases. Based in Ghent Belgium, it is backed by an International syndicate of experienced life sciences venture capital investors. Find out more about us online at www.agomab.com.
About V-Bio Ventures
V-Bio Ventures (www.v-bio.ventures) is an independent venture capital firm specialized in building and financing young, innovative life science companies. V-Bio Ventures was established in 2015 and works closely with Belgium-based VIB, one of the world’s premier life science institutes. The fund invests throughout Europe in start-up and early-stage companies with high growth potential focusing on technologies that provide transformational improvements in the biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and agricultural sectors.
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