Danish biotech startup Adcendo raises €51m to advance novel antibody-drug conjugates for cancers treatment

Danish biotech startup Adcendo raises €51m to advance novel antibody-drug conjugates for cancers treatment

Published: 29-04-2021 09:37:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 1517 | Tags:

Adcendo, a biotech company developing antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancers, announced the successful closing of  €51 million Series A financing to advance novel antibody-drug conjugates for treatment of cancers. The investment was led by Novo Seeds, the early-stage investment and company creation team of Novo Holdings, and Ysios Capital, along with RA Capital Management, HealthCap and Gilde Healthcare. The company was initially incubated and funded at the BioInnovation Institute (BII). 

The new financing, which is the largest Series A financing for a Danish biotech company, will be used to establish a pipeline of ADCs directed at novel cancer targets and to bring the lead program targeting the novel cancer target uPARAP/Endo180 to proof of concept in patients.

Henrik Stage, Chief Executive Officer, Adcendo: "In the last few years the ADC modality has delivered promising approvals of new drugs as well as significant commercial transactions. We are excited that we have secured this major financing from top tier investors and are looking forward to delivering on our vision of bringing new innovative treatments to cancer patients."

John Haurum, Chairman of the Board, Adcendo: "With this funding we will be able to bring our first program - the uPARAP program - all the way to proof of concept in patients, translating the basic research done at The Finsen Laboratory benches, incubated through the BII's Creation House Program, to new, real-life treatments." 

uPARAP is a unique novel cancer target overexpressed on the cell surface of several cancers. Being a collagen scavenger receptor that possesses constitutively active and highly efficient internalization and recycling properties, it has been demonstrated to play a role in tumor invasion. The expression and biological mechanisms of uPARAP makes it ideal for an ADC approach as it may be used as a cancer-associated "drug internalization pump" to bring conjugated drugs directly into the cancer cells.

The uPARAP collagen scavenger receptor has been found to be overexpressed by cancer cells in several indications with high unmet needs including soft tissue sarcoma, glioblastoma multiforme, triple-negative breast cancers, leukemia and osteosarcoma, as well as by stromal cells in several high prevalence cancers with substantial stromal tissue content, such as prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer. In addition to the uPARAP program, Adcendo will build a pipeline of additional novel cancer targets ideally suited to ADC approaches.

Jeroen Bakker, Principal, Novo Seeds: "Novo Seeds is focused on building world class companies that are developing innovative treatments for patients with unmet medical needs. We are proud to have been involved with the company since its early days and are very impressed with the progress achieved to date. We are very pleased to now co-lead this strong investment, building on the founders' early-stage research at The Finsen Laboratory to develop Adcendo into a world leading ADC player with a pipeline of exciting novel ADC drugs."

Joël Jean-Mairet, Managing Partner, Ysios Capital: "Adcendo is taking the ADC approach to the next level by focusing on targets that are professional internalizers and have exquisite tumor selectivity. We are very pleased to support this financing."

The Board of Adcendo includes John Haurum, Chair; Jeroen Bakker, Novo Seeds; Joël Jean-Mairet, Ysios Capital; Sanne de Jongh, Gilde Healthcare; Reza Halse, RA Capital Management; Mårten Steen, HealthCap and Lars Engelholm of Adcendo.