Naarden, the Netherlands, and Munich, Germany, January 14 2021 – Forbion, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm, today announces that its portfolio company, NewAmsterdam Pharma (NAP), a clinical stage company focused on the research and development of transformative therapies for cardio-metabolic diseases, has completed an oversubscribed €160M ($196M) Series A funding round.
The financing will support the full Phase 3 development of its ApoB and LDL-c lowering small molecule drug, obicetrapib. The drug, a cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor, is being developed for patients who are not well-controlled on statins.
Forbion, NAP’s founding investor, was joined by Morningside Ventures and Ascendant BioCapital as co-lead investors in the Series A financing. Also participating in this funding round were Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, BVF Partners L.P., Population Health Partners, LSP Dementia Fund, Peter Thiel, Janus Henderson Investors, Medpace, GL Capital, JVC Investment Partners, and Presight Capital.
“This is an important milestone in the advancement of obicetrapib and the growth of NewAmsterdam Pharma,” said Michael Davidson, MD, Chief Executive Officer of NewAmsterdam Pharma. “The tremendous support of our investors allows us to initiate a large, Phase 3 development program as we work to create a new option for the millions of high cardiovascular risks patients globally who, despite maximally tolerated statin therapy, require additional LDL-c lowering options.”
“Effectively inhibiting CETP to reduce atherosclerotic risk in patients is something Dr. Davidson and I have been endeavoring to achieve in our field of research for more than two decades,” said John Kastelein, MD, PhD, FESC, chief scientific officer of NewAmsterdam Pharma. “Long term follow up from the 2017 REVEAL study validated CETP as a target to lower LDL-c and reduce major adverse cardiac events (MACE).1 We believe that in obicetrapib, based on clinical studies to date, we have a molecule which is well tolerated and has not shown any of the safety issues of previous CETP inhibitors. Furthermore, based on the surrogate endpoints of the REVEAL study, obicetrapib was shown to be more effective at lowering LDL-c at a 5 mg dose in comparison to a 100 mg dose of anacetrapib.”
Sander Slootweg, Managing Partner at Forbion, said: “We are pleased to see NewAmsterdam Pharma raise such an impressive Series A round so soon after its formation, and we welcome the new investor syndicate on board. This raise will allow NAP’s seasoned management team to deliver a full Phase 3 development program for obicetrapib, exploring its potential in addressing the huge and poorly served patient population at risk of cardiovascular disease who are not well-controlled on statins.”
Two Phase 2b clinical trials for obicetrapib are underway with targeted completion in Q2 2021.
NAP is looking to initiate Phase 3 clinical trials towards the end of this year.
Forbion is a dedicated life sciences venture capital firm with offices in The Netherlands, Germany and Singapore. Forbion invests in life sciences companies that are active in the (bio-) pharmaceutical space.
Forbion manages well over EUR 1.7 billion across multiple fund strategies that cover all stages of (bio)pharmaceutical drug development. Forbion’s current team consists of 20 life sciences investment professionals that have built an impressive performance track record since the late nineties with successful investments in over 70 companies.
The firm is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Besides financial objectives, Forbion selects investments that will positively affect the health and well-being of patients.
Its investors include the EIF, through its European Recovery Programme (ERP), LfA, Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI), AMUF and EFSI facilities and KfW Capital through the Programme, “ERP – Venture Capital Fonds investments”. Forbion operates a joint venture with BGV, the manager of seed and early-stage funds, especially focused on Benelux and Germany.
For more information, please visit: www.forbion.com.
About NewAmsterdam Pharma
Founded in 2019 by the venture capital firm Forbion and John Kastelein, NewAmsterdam Pharma is a privately held, clinical-stage company focused on the research and development of transformative therapies for cardiometabolic diseases. Its mission is to improve patient care in populations where traditional therapies are not tolerated or have been unsuccessful. In April 2020, NewAmsterdam acquired Dezima Pharma from Amgen, including all rights for obicetrapib (formerly AMG 899, now TA-8995) a selective cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor. The Company is investigating obicetrapib as the preferred ApoB and LDL-c lowering therapy for patients with ASCVD/FH on the maximally tolerated dose of statin therapy. NewAmsterdam Pharma is headquartered in Naarden, The Netherlands. For more information, please visit: www.newamsterdampharma.com
Obicetrapib is a cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor which targets Apolipoprotein B (ApoB) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) in the body. Millions of people globally have cannot achieve LDL-c goals despite maximally tolerated statin therapy. A Phase 2b study called TULIP, published in The Lancet, showed that obicetrapib significantly reduced the number of ApoB-containing particles that constitute LDL-c and was well tolerated in patients with mild dyslipidemia. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study tested the drug in 364 patients, to assess the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of the potential therapy. Two Phase 2b clinical trials for obicetrapib are underway with targeted completion in Q2 2021. NAP is working to initiate Phase 3 trials in Q4 2021.
Melanie Toyne-SewellManaging Partner