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Forbion co-leads oversubscribed $53M Series B round for Amphista Therapeutics

Forbion co-leads oversubscribed $53M Series B round for Amphista Therapeutics

  • Funding will be used to advance next generation of targeted protein degradation assets
  • Next to Forbion, other life-science investors Gilde Healthcare, Novartis Venture Fund and Eli Lilly joined the round
  • Rogier Rooswinkel, Partner at Forbion, joins the Board

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 17 March 2021 – Forbion, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm, today announces that it has co-led a $53M (£38M) Series B financing round for Amphista Therapeutics, a leader in next generation targeted protein degradation (TPD) approaches.

The round was co-led by Forbion and Gilde Healthcare, with additional investors in the round including Novartis Venture Fund, and Eli Lilly, joining existing investor BioMotiv and founding investor Advent Life Sciences. The proceeds will be used to accelerate the Amphista Therapeutics’ growing pipeline of potent and selective bifunctional molecules, known as ‘Amphistas’ to the clinic and to extend its proprietary targeted protein degradation (TPD) platform.

Amphista’s CEO Nicola Thompson said, “This financing round, led by an outstanding investor syndicate, is a strong endorsement of our world class team and our novel approach. Amphista will now accelerate its oncology pipeline towards the clinic and extend our portfolio into indications largely inaccessible by traditional TPD approaches, such as diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). This oversubscribed Series B supports our ambition as a world-leading next generation protein degradation company delivering ground-breaking new medicines to patients in areas of high unmet need.”

Rogier Rooswinkel, Partner at Forbion said, “We are delighted to have selected Amphista as the first company to invest in from our recently closed Forbion V fund, one of the largest dedicated funds focused on drug discovery and development companies in Europe. Amphista combines several attributes that we typically look for: a world-class team, innovative science, and a disruptive technology that has the potential to improve treatment options and thus impact many patients’ lives.”

Amphista’s TPD approach offers a greatly improved way of treating disease, and modulating drug targets, using synthetic small molecule degraders. Amphista’s next generation bifunctional degraders use a novel set of mechanisms that make use of a wider range of the body’s own innate protein degrading proteins, instead of the very narrow set of ubiquitin E3 ligase-based mechanisms used by most other TPD companies. This proprietary approach offers the potential to overcome many of the limitations seen with current TPD approaches, providing the opportunity to treat a wider range of diseases. Amphista is focused on biological targets with a high level of clinical or genetic validation, allowing the team to focus on the translation of their novel TPD approach for clinical benefit in areas of high unmet need.

About Amphista Therapeutics

Amphista Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company creating first-in-class therapeutics that harness the body’s natural processes to selectively and efficiently degrade and remove disease-causing proteins. The company’s pipeline of novel targeted protein degradation (TPD)-based medicines is focused on challenging diseases including cancer. Founded by Advent Life Sciences, Amphista is a spin-out of TPD expert Professor Alessio Ciulli’s labs at the University of Dundee. The company has raised approximately £45M to date and is funded by leading life science investors including Forbion, Gilde Healthcare, Novartis Venture Fund, Advent Life Sciences, BioMotiv and Eli Lilly.

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About Forbion

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.

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Melanie Toyne-SewellManaging Partner