Liège, Belgium, August 5, 2019 – Imcyse, a clinical-stage company developing active and specific immunotherapeutics for the treatment and prevention of severe chronic diseases, today announces the appointment of seasoned biotech expert Thomas Taapken as executive chairman and chairman of the board, as part of imminent changes at the company following the recent successful €28M ($31.2M) Series B financing round.
In addition to the new appointment, several additional board members have been appointed and simultaneously, Pierre Vandepapelière is stepping down from his current role as CEO. In the future he will focus on his role as chief medical officer, facilitating the company’s vital clinical work as Imcyse enters its new stage of development, which is expected to see the further expansion of clinical activities.
Dr. Thomas Taapken is an independent adviser with over 20 years of experience in the life sciences sector at senior management and board levels. Prior to joining Imcyse, he held executive management positions at several private and publicly listed companies, including Medigene AG, Epigenomics AG and Biotie Therapies. He also served on the board of private and listed companies such as Scibase AB, Immunic AG and others. He successfully completed public and private financings, business and M&A transactions and worked in venture capital in both Germany and the US. Taapken holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Technical University of Berlin and has also studied economics and physics at the University of Göttingen, Germany.
Since its inception in 2010, scientists at Imcyse have successfully established and validated its innovative Imotope™ platform for the development of novel therapeutics which have the possibility to cure severe autoimmune diseases without current satisfactory therapeutic alternative. Imotopes™ are uniquely modified peptides that elicit a specific immune reaction by eliminating antigen-presenting cells and autoreactive target specific lymphocytes without affecting the other functions of the immune system.
Imcyse has established pre-clinical proof of concept in several indications and is currently conducting a clinical Phase 1b study in type 1 diabetes patients. In addition, Imcyse recently started a research collaboration with Pfizer targeting rheumatoid arthritis.
At the end of summer 2019 Imcyse is expected to publish results of the ongoing Phase 1b study with recent onset insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes patients. The new financing will allow the company to launch a phase 2 trial and to initiate studies in additional clinical indications.
“I’m thrilled to join Imcyse at this pivotal moment, with impending clinical trial results and ahead of its new phase of growth. I believe that the company’s technology is highly promising and I am excited to contribute to the company fulfilling its immense potential”, said Thomas Taapken.
“I am very proud of the remarkable work done by the Imcyse team these last five years to develop our innovative Imotopes portfolio, which allows our company to reach this critical stage of development. The recent series B financing is a testimony of the great potential of our technology. As Imcyse prepares for the next stage of its life cycle, I’m looking forward to the upcoming steps in its clinical development work,” said Pierre Vandepapelière.
In addition to Thomas Taapken, Christina Franssen (investment manager at SRIW), Jörg Neermann (partner at LSP) and Stefan Yee (CEO PE Group) have joined current board members Stijn Van Rompay and Marc Foidart as new directors of the board at Imcyse.
Imcyse’s unique technology platform uses modified peptides (Imotopes™), which have the potential to cure and to prevent severe chronic autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other auto-immune diseases, for which there are currently no cure.
Imcyse develops active targeted immunotherapies to treat and prevent severe chronic diseases caused by disruptions of the immune system. The company’s unique active immunotherapy technology platform allows it to locally destroy the immune cells involved in the destruction of the diseased organ. This platform is based on the administration of Imotopes™, which are specific modified peptides, allowing for the generation of a new type of T-cell, called cytolytic CD4. Imcyse’s approach, sustained over time, helps to prevent and treat diseases with no current therapeutic alternative and to cure the patient without impairing immune defenses. The company has established proof of concept in several indications and is conducting its first clinical trial in type 1 diabetes in seven European countries. Beyond Type 1 diabetes, Imcyse is developing a pipeline of Imotopes for the treatment of several autoimmune diseases. Based in Liège, Belgium, Imcyse was originally founded in 2010 as a spin-off from the KU Leuven, Belgium.