Targetome SA closed a capital increase of € 360,000 , and obtained a € 0.9 million grant from the Walloon Region
Liège, February 29th 2016
Targetome SA closed a capital increase of € 360,000 , and obtained a € 0.9 million grant from the Walloon Region with Mithra Pharmaceuticals SA (EURONEXT: MITRA ) Spinventure SA and MRC Technology (MRCT), a British medical research charity.
Targetome SA, a spin-off from the University of Liège (ULg) active in biomarker discovery and development of targeted therapies against cancer, announced the completion of a capital increase of 360,000 euros and the securing of a grant from the Walloon Region of up to 900 thousand euros. With a starting capital of 890,000 euros, it increases the company resources through the contribution of two existing investors, Mithra Pharmaceutcals and Spinventure, and a new partner, MRC Technology, a British charity with an impressive track record in translating research from the bench to patient.
Targetome SA has a patented innovative technology that was awarded from the American Society for investigative Pathology, which selects protein systemically available specifically in malignant tumour lesions. In a previous project, several specific biomarkers of colorectal cancer liver metastases were discovered and validated. Indeed, these biomarkers were detected in almost all tumours of patients examined in this study.
This technology is a real breakthrough in the research against cancer and particularly against liver metastases of cancers of colon and pancreatic cancers who still do not receive effective treatment and for which patient mortality is still very high.
Founded in 2010, the company resulting from the Research Laboratory on Metastases (MRL) led by Prof. Vincent Castronovo and Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (LSM), led by Prof. Edwin De Pauw, at ULg, just completed - with the help of the company Gesval SA, in charge of the exploitation of technology from the University of Liège, and the support from WBC Incubator, the Life Sciences incubator in Wallonia - the second financial round which will enable it to engage in preclinical development (validation on model) and achieve the humanization of monoclonal antibodies against two drug candidates for the treatment of liver metastases from colon cancer and of pancreatic cancer.
Targetome SA can rely on technical and commercial expertise of its new British partner MRCT in the field of humanizing monoclonal antibodies. MRCT is an independent organization active in the field of biomedical sciences. It has directly helped partners put 4 therapeutic antibodies on the market: Tysabri, Actemra, Entyvio and Keytruda and licensed technologies that have delivered at least 20 other drugs.
The drug candidates developed by Targetome SA are " ADC " (antibody -drug Conjugates) which are true " homing missiles " (combination of a humanized antibody and a toxic compound) that only destroy cancer cells bearing a specific biomarker that these ADCs are capable of recognizing. This specificity would eliminate the high toxicity of most existing treatments (chemotherapy) that hit all body cells without distinction.
To date only two "ADC" drugs were approved by the FDA/EMA (in 2013). These molecules of a new kind, are Brentuximab vedotin (marketed by Seattle Genetics and Millennium / Takeda as the Adcetris® ) and Trastuzumab emtansine (marketed by Roche and Genentech as the Kadcycla) who have already achieved combined sales of one billion euro in 2014.
Targetome SA intends to complete the preclinical validation phase in early 2018, to then engage into the clinical development (in humans) the most promising candidate. A new capital increase of EUR 5 million will be needed again at that point.
Among the investors in this “B round”, we also find Mithra Pharmaceuticals SA and Spinventure SA who had already invested in the first round.
Mithra is considered a leader in the women's health market as a developer, producer and supplier of pharmaceutical products. In its desire to strengthen its position in this market, Mithra wants to complete its offer by addressing the development of diagnostic tests and therapeutic products such as antibodies and therapeutic peptides ("biologics").
To increase its chances of success in this new challenge, Mithra consolidated its collaborations with research laboratories and hospital centres of the University of Liège, from which the spin-off Targetome SA originates.
Among the research projects of interest to Mithra there is the identification of new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers that would fall into the development of potentially interesting companion kits for clinical development of targeted therapies. Diagnostic tests from these developments would then be used in routine diagnostic and theranostic.
The equity purchase in Targetome SA covers two goals for Mithra: (1) access to Targetome SA proprietary technology for the identification of new therapeutic targets and diagnostic of diseases potentially of interest to Mithra and (2), have access to the expertise of MRCT for the development of specific therapeutic humanized antibodies (biologics) against identified targets.
Mithra entered the shareholding of Targetome SA to join its expertise and strengths to the ones of the three entities. This synergy will accelerate the time-to-market of diagnostics and biologics directed against therapeutic targets identified by Targetome SA.
For more information, contact:
Christophe VAN HUFFEL
Job Offer - Lab Technician at the University of Liège
Qualifications et aptitudes requises
Maitrise des techniques de culture cellulaire
Targetome will participate to BIO 2016 in San Francisco (June 6th - 9th).
Targetome is a biotech company developing affinity-based targeted therapies against unmet medical needs with initial focus on pancreatic cancer and liver metastases.
Thanks to its innovative biomarker discovery platform, Targetome is also offering services related to the identification and validation of proteomics biomarkers, and biologics generation, for therapeutic or diagnostic purpose.