CatalYm 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.