Australian venture capital fund joins partners in backing new immunotherapy

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CatalYm has announced the closure of an oversubscribed EUR50 million Series C financing round that was co-led by new investors, Brandon Capital and Jeito Capital, with participation from existing investors Forbion, Novartis Venture Fund, Vesalius Biocapital III, Bayern Kapital, BioGeneration Ventures and Coparion.

Brandon Capital is Australasia’s leading life science venture capital firm, with an international presence and team members across the US and UK.

The financing will support the continued, promising clinical development of its lead candidate, visugromab, a humanized monoclonal antibody engineered to neutralize the tumor-produced Growth Differentiation Factor-15 (GDF-15).

GDF-15 acts as a key regulator of immune cell activation and as an inhibitor of immune cell infiltration in the tumour tissue.

“The success of our Series C financing, based on strong clinical data, is a further validation that visugromab is emerging as a new anti-cancer immunotherapeutic drug with the potential to transform the immuno-oncology landscape,” said Dr Phil L’Huillier, CEO at CatalYm. “We deeply value the commitment of our new and existing investors, which will enable further clinical development, moving our lead program towards pivotal studies.”

Proceeds from the round will fund the expansion of CatalYm’s visugromab Phase 2 development program. A study will evaluate visugromab in combination with an anti-PD1 antibody in patients with advanced solid tumours. First data read-outs are expected in early 2023.

Brandon Capital partner Dr Jonathan Tobin and Jeito Capital's Dr Andreas Wallnoefer will join CatalYm’s board of directors.

“We are encouraged by the extremely exciting clinical data that CatalYm has generated in a short amount of time, demonstrating its ability to advance a program focused on a new target and developing a targeted antibody capable of generating adaptive immune responses in patients with late-stage cancers. We look forward to supporting Phil and his team as they prepare to move visugromab into late-stage clinical development and further investigate GDF-15’s role in immunosuppression,” said Dr Tobin.