Publication date: 15/11/2018
Camel-IDS, a VUB spin-off company developing cancer-targeted radiopharmaceuticals, today secured EUR 37m in a Series A investment round led by V-Bio Ventures (Belgium) and Gimv (Belgium), joined by the co-lead investors HealthCap (Sweden), Novo Seeds (Denmark), Pontifax (Israel) and BioMedPartners (Switzerland). Existing investors also participated. The proceeds will enable Camel-IDS to run a phase Ib/II trial with its lead program CAM-H2 targeting HER2-positive brain metastatic breast cancer, while further progressing and broadening its preclinical pipeline.
Breast cancer patients with tumors that overexpress HER2, a growth-promoting protein, can benefit from effective targeted treatments today, yet have a poor prognosis when the cancer progresses towards the brain. Camel-IDS’ lead program CAM-H2 aims to effectively irradiate brain lesions while sparing healthy tissue, based on its unique technology platform that leverages the favorable tissue distribution of camelid derived single domain antibodies linked to radionuclides. The company’s technology platform also allows for a theranostic approach, where patients can be selected using a low dose/imaging version of the product, followed by a high therapeutic dose for treatment.
In connection with the financing Christina Takke from V-Bio, Karl Naegler from Gimv, Mårten Steen from HealthCap, Morten Graugaard Døssing from Novo Seeds and Ohad Hammer from Pontifax will join the board of directors.
Ruth Devenyns, CEO of Camel-IDS comments: ‘The successful financing underscores the potential of our innovative technology and product pipeline. We are grateful for the continued support from our existing shareholders and look forward to welcoming the new international investor syndicate that has extensive experience in leveraging platform technologies to develop multi-product opportunities.’
Tony Lahoutte, CSO and co-founder complements: ‘Brain metastases in breast cancer are devastating for patients and difficult to treat. The lead program at Camel-IDS is focused on the development of a new treatment option for this condition. We are heartened by the strong interest of the investors that will enable us to bring this treatment to the patients.’
Christina Takke, Managing Partner at V-Bio Ventures, comments: ‘The successful fundraise for Camel-IDS is testament to the investors’ appetite for excellent science and technology. This funding round will accelerate innovation that can make a difference to patients. We are excited to be part of this journey.’
Camel-IDS (www.camel-ids.com), incorporated in 2014 as a spin-off company of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), develops novel radiopharmaceuticals, using camelid single domain antibody fragments (sdAb) labeled with radioisotopes. The company’s lead product CAM-H2, a new treatment option in HER2-positive cancers, is in early clinical development. The pipeline further consists of two pre-clinical programs leveraging the technology strengths. Camel-IDS has received seed funding from the Fournier-Majoie Foundation and three seed investors, complemented with non-dilutive funding from Innoviris.
About V-Bio Ventures
V-Bio Ventures (www.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. V-Bio Ventures’ investment in Camel-IDS is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (“EFSI”).