OCTIMET Oncology NV secures over EUR 11 million to develop its highly selective MET kinase inhibitors
Beerse, Belgium January 19th 2017: OCTIMET Oncology NV (OCTIMET), has secured EUR 11.3 million in a Series A investment round, enabling the company to accelerate the development of a clinically de-risked MET kinase inhibitor, as single agent or in combination with standard of care and targeted agents for the treatment of solid cancers.
OCTIMET was founded in 2016 by Timothy Perera PhD, Ann Meulemans PhD, Paolo Comoglio, MD, PhD and Philip Owen FCA. Headed by Dr. Timothy Perera, OCTIMET has licensed highly selective MET kinase inhibitors from Janssen Pharmaceutica NV and will advance the development of these molecules by employing innovative patient selection and pharmacodynamic biomarker-based approaches, as well as an innovative clinical development strategy, to provide differentiation both within the current treatment paradigms and from competitor agents.
Building upon a pre-existing strong pre-clinical and clinical data set, generated by Janssen and licensed to OCTIMET in a deal facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre, London, OCTIMET has succeeded in raising over EUR 11 million. The funding round was led by V-Bio Ventures (Belgium) and Fund+ (Belgium), and further supported by a strong international investment syndicate including DROIA Oncology Ventures (Luxembourg/Belgium) and OMNES Capital (France). OCTIMET has obtained a feasibility grant from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) that facilitated the company formation. Seed funding was received from the VIB (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie), to support an R&D collaboration with Prof. Massimiliano Mazzone at the Center for Cancer Biology (KU Leuven), and further seed funding from the lead investors was used to generate data to direct clinical indication selection.
OCTIMET is based at the JLINX facilities on the Janssen campus in Beerse, Belgium.
Post-closing, the Board of Directors will be composed of Dr Timothy Perera (OCTIMET), Christina Takke (V-Bio Ventures), Jan Van den Bossche (Fund+), Janwillem Naesens (DROIA Oncology) and Bruno Montanari (Omnes Capital).
Christina Takke, managing partner at V-Bio Ventures: "We are excited being part of this new venture. OCTIMET’s approach combined with new scientific evidence, a very strong clinical candidate and led by a seasoned management team enables the development of truly differentiated treatment options. This Series A closing supported by a well-diversified investor base is testament to both the quality of the assets as well as of the entire team."
Jan Van den Bossche, partner at Fund+: "We are convinced that OCTIMET is uniquely positioned to play a significant role in the development of new cancer treatments. The impressive dataset that was available and the experienced and highly motivated management team provided us the necessary comfort to support this exciting venture. Moreover, OCTIMET fits perfectly with our policy to develop a leadership position for the life sciences sector in Belgium."
Timothy Perera, CEO of OCTIMET: "We look forward to providing effective new treatment options for selected cancer patients backed by a highly engaged and experienced group of investors. Our long-standing experience in cancer drug development using innovative clinical development and biomarker strategies will allow us to rapidly generate clinical proof of concept for innovative drugs in areas of high unmet medical need."
Dr Timothy Perera, CEO, OCTIMET Oncology NV
Telephone: +32 (0)473 55 83 53 : E-Mail: : www.octimet.com
OCTIMET Oncology NV is a new company that acts as a translational accelerator, focusing on creating value for investors and patients by providing rapid clinical proof of concept for cancer therapies through innovative clinical development strategies and patient centered biomarker approaches. OCTIMET was set-up in 2016 and is run by a highly experienced management team. The current focus is on its clinical stage asset OMO-1, a highly selective small molecule MET inhibitor that will be developed with specific biomarkers, whilst an additional late pre-clinical stage oncology asset 0MO-2 will also enter the portfolio. (www.octimet.com)
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. (www.v-bio.ventures)
FUND+ is an open-ended Fund for long term equity investment in innovative Life Sciences companies with a focus on Belgium. The objective is to create sustainable shareholders value, contribute to the development of a leadership position in the Life Sciences sector for Belgium and generate a tangible, beneficial societal impact. (www.fundplus.be)
DROIA is a venture capital investor focusing exclusively on oncology therapeutics. Operating from Luxembourg and Belgium, DROIA invests worldwide in early-stage drug development companies that apply novel science and innovative approaches to bring highly promising drug candidates to patients. Through its experienced team of in-house scientists and drug developers, DROIA also supports young companies on scientific and development matters. Funded by private investors, DROIA is dedicated to making a difference in the fight against cancer. (www.droia.com)
Omnes Capital is a major player in private equity and infrastructure with €3 billion in assets under management. Omnes Capital provides companies with the capital needed to finance their growth and with key expertise in a number of areas: Buyout & Growth Capital, Private Debt, Venture Capital, Infrastructure, Co-Investment. Omnes Capital was a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole until March 2012 when the company gained its independence. Omnes Capital is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). (www.omnescapital.com)