Development of first-in-class targeted small molecule therapies for solid tumors
Bilthoven, The Netherlands - 15 December, 2015 – Dutch Aglaia BioMedical Ventures today announces its investment in Swiss biopharmaceutical company Inthera Bioscience. Inthera Bioscience focuses on the development of first-in-class targeted small molecule therapies for solid tumors. The $3.7 million (EUR 3.4 million) financing round was led by MS Ventures, with equal contribution from Aglaia Oncology Fund II and Danish Novo Seeds. EVA Basel also participated in the financing. This is the second investment of the new Aglaia Oncology Fund after last month’s investment in Dutch based InteRNA Technologies.
Aberrant cellular signaling is a major cause of cancer development and progression. Blocking protein-protein interactions mediating signal transduction in cancer cells is a highly attractive approach for the development of novel anti-cancer agents. However, with few exceptions, such targets have remained evasive to date. Founded in 2013 by Dr. Ulrich Kessler and Prof. Paramjit Arora, Inthera Bioscience employs a proprietary technology platform to rationally design protein-protein interaction inhibitors. The company has discovered potent disruptors of hypoxia-inducible signaling for the treatment of solid tumors and targeted agents against HPV- associated cancer, which are in pre-clinical development.
“Inthera is a great fit with Aglaia’s strategy”, said Mark Krul, Partner at Aglaia. “We strongly believe in innovative technology platforms in order to develop truly novel, first-in-class therapies in oncology. Hypoxia-inducible signaling is a major driver of cancer progression and metastasis in many solid tumor types; blocking this pathway has the potential to become a revolutionary therapy.”
“It is exciting to advance our lead program from in vivo proof of concept to the clinic and expand our emerging pipeline”, said Ulrich Kessler, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Inthera. “Being supported by such a strong investor syndicate illustrates the potential of our technology and projects.
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A venture capital firm based in Bilthoven, the Netherlands. Aglaia invests in companies offering groundbreaking therapies for the prevention and treatment of cancer through its Oncology Funds I and II. The company raised EUR 50 million last year for its new Oncology Fund II, whose target size is EUR 60 to EUR 80 million. Aglaia differs from other funds in that it focuses exclusively on oncology, as well as by getting involved at an early stage of technological development and by its hands-on management.
Through this strategy, Aglaia helps translate high-potential research into commercially and clinically successful products. Aglaia’s investment philosophy focuses on impact investing, which combines financial and social returns.
Issued for and on behalf of Aglaia by Instinctif Partners.
Melanie Toyne-SewellManaging Partner