Tubulis announced the close of a €10.7 million Series A financing round to accelerate the development of a new class of highly stable and efficient antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and to support the further growth of the company. The financing round was co-led by BioMedPartners and High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) with support from Seventure Partners, coparion, Bayern Kapital, and OCCIDENT alongside significant contributions by high net worth individuals and the founders. Tubulis was spun out in 2019 from the Leibniz Research Institute in Berlin (FMP) and the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich with the aim of expanding the therapeutic potential of ADCs for cancer and other disease indications.
"Tubulis’ objective is to use our dual platform approach to generate uniquely matched and disease-specific ADCs that combine selective antibodies with effective payloads. The funding committed by this experienced syndicate represents a validation of our technology and reflects the recent renaissance in ADC development in our industry. These proceeds will enable us to continue validating our platforms and to move our first two selected ADC candidates towards the clinic", said Dominik Schumacher, CEO and co-founder of Tubulis.
"Tubulis is tackling the limitations of current ADCs head-on and is helping to shape the future of ADCs for the treatment of a broad range of diseases. We look forward to supporting the team at Tubulis as they continue to build the company in a growing field with a high need for innovative solutions", said Michael Wacker, Partner at BioMed Partners.
Tubulis’ uniquely versatile and customizable ADC technology portfolio consists of two proprietary technologies which are based on scientific discoveries made in the research groups of Prof. Christian Hackenberger (FMP), Prof. Heinrich Leonhardt (LMU) and Dr. Jonas Helma-Smets, who are all co-founders of the company. Jonas Helma-Smets also joined the company as CSO.
The platforms accommodate the complexities of modern ADC design with regard to protein format, payload potency and payload hydrophobicity. P5 conjugation is a novel chemistry for cysteine-selective conjugation. It allows for ultra-stable ADC generation with unprecedented linker stability and chemical flexibility, enabling rapid lead identification. The Tub-tag® platform was inspired by microtubule biology and adds a significant amount of stability to the ADC product candidates by modulating the antibody to provide a highly beneficial microenvironment for the payload. Moreover, the human-derived nature of the Tub-tag® reduces the risk of unwanted immune responses. Combining these platforms addresses the main bottlenecks in the field, ADC stability and payload-driven toxicity. Tubulis will prioritize the use of these technologies for internal drug discovery and development activities to generate uniquely matched antibody-drug conjugates, tailored to the respective indication.
During the spin-out phase the company has already been recognized by several early-stage start-up awards including the Outstanding Start-up Award at Venture.Med 2019, the Leibniz Entrepreneurship Award as well as being an official EIT Health success story. Tubulis is an EIT Health Investor Network supported company.