Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 10 February 2021 – Forbion, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm, today announces the launch of VectorY, a fully integrated gene therapy company focused on the development of innovative vectorized antibodies for muscular and neurodegenerative disorders. The Company has been operational since October 2020 and has established laboratories and offices at the Amsterdam Science Park.
VectorY develops proprietary and partnered programs based on a novel AAV platform and innovative antibody-based targeted degradation technologies. The Company is creating a pipeline of innovative vectorized antibodies targeting muscular and CNS diseases, aimed at overcoming limitations of current therapies, improving delivery, durability and accessibility of targeted tissues and cells. These novel viral vectors will have enhanced properties of non-immunogenicity, cell type specificity and expression in selected sub-cellular compartments, thus unlocking new treatment opportunities in these disease areas.
This year the Company is setting up its own state-of-the-art GMP manufacturing facilities in Amsterdam. Its technology platform will be developed for scalability and yield, with the aim of significantly lowering the costs of gene therapies.
VectorY has already negotiated its first corporate collaboration agreement, gaining access to a highly relevant neuro-inflammation target to develop a vectorized antibody therapy for treatment of neurological disorders. VectorY will continue to consider further collaborations in parallel to progressing its proprietary programs.
The highly experienced management team will be led by Marco Boorsma, General Partner at Forbion, who is joining as Interim CEO, bringing a proven track record of building and leading biotech companies. Co-founders Carlo Incerti, Pavlina Konstantinova, Anthony Newcombe and Barbara Sanders all bring significant, longstanding experience in gene therapy, vector development, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing expertise. Carlo Incerti, Operating Partner at Forbion and previously Chief Medical Officer of Sanofi Genzyme, will join VectorY’s board as Chairman, together with Sander Slootweg, Managing Partner at Forbion, as board member. Forbion’s principal Dmitrij Hristodorov will join as Observer to the board.
VectorY was seeded by Forbion, following previous investments in successful gene vector companies including bluebird bio (then named Genetix), Biovex, Hookipa, EnGene, Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics, uniQure and Replimune.
Carlo Incerti, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of VectorY, and Operating Partner at Forbion, said:
“I have been working in the gene therapy field for over 30 years, and, from experience, know that accurately targeting the right cells with the transgene has always been of paramount importance. Using viral vectors developed at VectorY to deliver the genetic sequence for therapeutic antibody expression in target cells has the potential to address some of the key shortcomings of intravenously injected molecules. Our aim is to create novel treatments for patients.“
Marco Boorsma, Interim CEO of VectorY, said:
“VectorY is developing innovative technologies to create novel, potentiated vectorized antibodies that will target muscle and CNS disorders with substantial unmet medical needs. Our aim is to bring new, powerful treatments to patients suffering from serious diseases. The Company is hitting the ground running, capitalizing on the extensive experience of its co-founders, and the support and expertise from Forbion as longstanding gene therapy investor.”
VectorY combines the therapeutic potential of antibodies and gene therapy to develop long-lasting therapeutic solutions for muscular and neurodegenerative diseases with high unmet medical need.
Founded in August 2020, and based in the Amsterdam Science Park, VectorY is a fully integrated gene therapy company focused on the development of innovative therapeutics based on a novel AAV gene therapy platform, antibody-based targeted degradation technologies, and proprietary manufacturing technology.
VectorY develops proprietary & partnered programs and product candidates are based on new technologies that will enable the next generation of highly scalable manufacturing processes within VectorY’s own manufacturing facilities. VectorY’s manufacturing capabilities will include a state-of-the-art multi-product GMP facility in the Netherlands, with the capability to deliver suspension based AAV viral vector manufacturing of up to 2000L for both clinical and commercial supply.
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 69 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.
Melanie Toyne-SewellManaging Partner