MUNICH, GERMANY, July 21, 2020 – Tubulis today 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-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin 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,” said Dominik Schumacher, CEO and co-founder of Tubulis. “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.”
Michael Wacker, Partner at BioMed Partners commented: “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.”
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.
Tubulis generates uniquely matched protein-drug conjugates by combining proprietary novel technologies with disease-specific biology. Our goal is to expand the therapeutic potential of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) ushering in a new era and delivering better outcomes for patients. Employing the company’s proprietary ADC development approach, Tubulis will advance a variety of conjugates, unlimited by indication. For more information visit www.tubulis.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Based in Basel, Switzerland, BioMedPartners is an independent European venture capital firm that acts as lead-or co-lead investor providing private equity to early- to mid-stage life sciences companies. Since 2002, BioMedPartners has invested in several highly innovative companies of which twenty-two have already either successfully been acquired by leading biopharma companies or have completed an IPO. With more than CHF 350 million in capital under management and a strong team of experienced industry experts as well as an extensive scientific and pharma network, BioMedPartners has established itself as one of the leading early-stage human healthcare investors in Europe. In February 2018 the company announced the closing of BioMedInvest III, their third equity venture capital fund of CHF 100 million. In this third fund BioMedPartners is focusing on the build-up of companies with highly innovative early stage assets and technology platforms. One of the first investments of BioMedInvest III was in the Swiss immuno-oncology company Amal SA (Geneva) which has been acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim in June 2019. For more information, please visit www.biomedvc.com.
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, techdriven start-ups. With around EUR 900 million in total investment volume across three funds and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge almost 600 start-ups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and startup experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups in the fields of digital business models, industrial technology, life sciences, chemistry and related business areas. To date, external investors have injected over EUR 2.5 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,600 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 100 companies. Investors in the public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, KfW Capital, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and 32 companies. Our fund investors.
About Seventure Partners
With €750m net commitments under management as of the end of 2018, Seventure Partners is a leading venture capital firm in Europe. Since 1997, Seventure Partners has been investing in innovative businesses with high growth potential in two fields: Life sciences across Europe, Israel, Asia and North America and Digital technologies in France and Germany. In Life sciences, the main areas of focus include “classic” approaches such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, diagnostic and medtech, industrial biotechnology, as well as “beyond the pill” approaches such as MICROBIOME-linked innovations, nutrition, foodtech, digital/connected health and personalized medicine. For more details: http://www.seventure.fr/en Twitter: @seventurep
coparion provides venture capital to accelerate momentum and growth. With a current active fund of EUR 275m coparion has the means to do so. coparion supports entrepreneurial vision with know-how, but without intervening in daily business operations. Thanks to in-depth experience in venture capital and in building companies, the coparion team discerns potentials and opens up new perspectives. coparion only invests with co-investors. The fund invests up to EUR 10m per company, usually in several financing rounds of EUR 1-5m each. Investment focus is on German companies in the start-up and early growth phase. coparion is based in Cologne and Berlin. www.coparion.vc
About Bayern Kapital
Bayern Kapital GmbH, based in Landshut, was founded on the initiative of the Bavarian government in 1995. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bavarian LfA Förderbank. As the venture capital organisation of the Land of Bavaria, Bayern Kapital provides equity capital financing for the founders of young innovative technology companies in Bavaria. Presently Bayern Kapital manages thirteen investment funds with a total volume of around €500m. So far, it has invested roughly €330m in about 280 innovative companies in the fields of technology in various sectors including life science, software & IT, medical technology, materials and new materials, nanotechnology and environmental technology. In this way, more than 7500 long-term jobs in sustainable companies have been created in Bavaria. www.bayernkapital.de
OCCIDENT is an international venture capital investor with offices in Zug and Munich, is owner-managed and invests own wealth. Its aim is to make a positive contribution to society through sustainable and meaningful investments.
OCCIDENT invests in innovative deep tech start-ups with excellent technologies in the fields of life sciences, digital and high-tech with broad application possibilities and the potential for further value-generating developments. The geographic focus is Germany and Switzerland. The preferred stage for initial financing is from seed rounds or later and from 0.5 million euros. OCCIDENT distinguishes itself in particular by its in-depth knowledge of the technology and the versatile support offered to its portfolio companies by its competent team of experts. For more information, please visit www.occident.group.