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Big VC rounds for Ganymed and MISSION to fight cancer

18 November 2013 17:47
By Tornado Staff

Today saw two big investments in life sciences companies that develop treatments for cancer.

The biggest investment was received by German biopharmaceutical company Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, which develops highly selective Ideal Monoclonal Antibodies (IMABs) for the treatment of cancer. The series E round totaled €45 million and was raised from existing investors ATS Beteiligungsverwaltung, MIG Fond, and FCPB Gany.

Ganymed will use the proceeds to accelerate the clinical development of its lead program IMAB362, including completion of the ongoing phase IIa and IIb clinical trials in gastroesophageal cancer and to prepare this first-in-class antibody for a phase III study. Also, the company will clinically validate its IVD test, CLAUDETECT18.2, as a predictive companion diagnostic test to IMAB362. Finally, the financing will help Ganymed to conduct a phase I/II clinical study of IMAB027 in ovarian cancer and develop a companion diagnostic test for this antibody.

Meanwhile, UK-based biotech company MISSION Therapeutics received a €23.8 million series B funding round from new investor Pfizer Venture Investments and existing backers Imperial Innovations Group, Sofinnova Partners, SR One and Roche Venture Fund. MISSION will use the current financing round to advance its lead programs for the treatment of various genetically defined cancers, through preclinical development and further development of its technology platform.

MISSION has progressed several small molecule discovery programs focused on key enzymes in the ubiquitin pathway to selectively target difficult-to-treat cancers. By targeting such ‘deubiquitylating’ enzymes (DUBs) which are involved in the DNA damage response, the company aims to induce synthetic lethality, a mechanism for the selective killing of tumor cells characterized by specific genetic abnormalities.

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