BASEL, Switzerland, November 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
NousCom, an oncology company developing neoantigen based cancer vaccines based on its Exovax platform, today announced the completion of a €42 million Series B financing. The round involved a syndicate of leading transatlantic life sciences investors led by new investor Abingworth with participation from 5AM Ventures, also a new investor, and existing investors LSP and Versant Ventures.
NousCom will use the proceeds to further advance its lead program NOUS-209, an off-the-shelf cancer vaccine, into Phase I/II clinical studies in 2018. The Company is planning to develop NOUS-209 as a prophylactic vaccine to prevent the occurrence of cancer in Lynch Syndrome Carriers (a genetically defined patient population with higher risk of developing colorectal, endometrial, and gastric cancers), and as a therapeutic vaccine for cancers characterized by Microsatellite Instability (tumors containing abnormalities affecting DNA repair). NOUS-209 has the potential to be the first neoantigen off-the-shelf cancer vaccine tested in the clinic.
The Company will also further the development of NOUS-100-PV, a personalized neoantigen based vaccine, which is expected to enter clinical studies in the second half of 2018. NousCom's third program is an oncolytic virus specifically targeted to tumor cells. This program, which is based on a second platform Endovax, is in the discovery phase.
NousCom's Exovax platform consists of viral vector-based genetic vaccines encoding cancer neoantigens using proprietary prime / boost technology. Prophylactic vaccines, similar to the ones used by NousCom, have shown to induce potent, durable and high quality CD8 and CD4 immunological responses in clinical trials against infectious diseases. NousCom's viral vectors have the ability to encode large numbers of neoantigens - an essential feature for induction of an effective immune response in cancer patients. In addition, the Company has access to a scalable GMP manufacturing facility, which will support its clinical development and future ability to deliver personalized cancer vaccines to patients.
Dr. Alfredo Nicosia, CEO of NousCom, said: "This financing, by experienced life sciences investors, represents an important validation of our platform and development strategy. We are delighted to welcome new investors Abingworth and 5AM and would like to thank our existing investors, LSP and Versant Venture. This investment will enable us to leverage our best in class Exovax platform to accelerate clinical development of our programs."
Dr. Genghis Lloyd-Harris, a partner of Abingworth, said: "We are excited to work with the team at NousCom to develop its platform which has already demonstrated very promising immunological and efficacy results in preclinical studies. Because of its ability to induce potent CD8 T cell responses, in addition to CD4, and deliver large amount of immunogenic information, we believe it holds strong promise in the clinic."
In conjunction with the financing, Dr. Genghis Lloyd-Harris of Abingworth and Dr. Scott Rocklage of 5AM will join NousCom's board of directors alongside existing board Chairman Dr. Guido Magni from Versant Ventures, and board members Dr. Joachim Rothe from LSP, Dr. Jean-Paul Prieels and Dr. Alfredo Nicosia.
NousCom is a private oncology company developing next generation immunotherapies. NousCom's proprietary technology platform, Exovax, harnesses the full power of the immune response by combining viral vectored genetic vaccines based on neoantigens with other immunomodulators.
NousCom is led by an experienced management team that has worked together for many years in previous successful enterprises, including IRBM/Merck and Okairos (acquired by GSK), and are veterans in the field of genetic vaccines.
NousCom, which was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland with operations in Rome, Italy, is backed by international life sciences investors: 5AM, Abingworth, LSP (Life Sciences Partners) and Versant Ventures.
For more information on NousCom, please visit the company's website at www.nouscom.com
About 5AM Ventures
Founded in 2002, 5AM Ventures is a leading life science venture capital firm with ~$1 billion under management. With a focus on biopharmaceuticals, drug delivery technologies and life science instruments, 5AM strategically invests in first institutional VC rounds with significant reserves for follow-on investments. The team is comprised of 17 investment professionals with offices in San Francisco, CA and Boston, MA. www.5amventures.com
Abingworth is an international investment group dedicated to collaborating with life sciences entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into products that have a dramatic impact on health. With over $1 billion under management, Abingworth invests at all stages of development, from start-ups to publicly traded companies, and across all life science sectors.
Supporting its portfolio companies with a team of 27 at offices in London, Menlo Park (California) and Boston, Abingworth has invested in 144 life science companies, leading to 64 IPOs and 42 mergers and acquisitions. www.abingworth.com
LSP is a leading independent European investment firm, providing financing for private and public life-science companies. Since the late 1980s, LSP's management has invested in a large number of highly innovative enterprises, many of which have grown to become leaders of the global life-science industry. With over USD 1 billion of investment capital raised to date and offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP is one of Europe's largest and most experienced specialist life-science investors. For more information, please visit www.lspvc.com
About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare investment firm committed to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build the next generation of great companies. The firm invests across the healthcare sector and at all stages of company development, with an emphasis on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. With $2.3 billion under management and offices in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, Versant has built a team with deep investment, operating and scientific expertise that enables a hands-on approach to company building. Since the firm's founding in 1999, more than 65 Versant companies have achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs. www.versantventures.com
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