Liège, Belgium, June 18, 2019 – Imcyse, a developer of active specific immunotherapies for the treatment and prevention of severe chronic diseases, today announces that it has raised €35M ($39.5M) in a Series B financing round and through other channels.
The financing round of €28M ($31.6M) in equity was led by LSP together with Belgian investors including Epimède, the Société Régionale d’Investissement de Wallonie (SRIW), and the Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement (SFPI). Existing shareholders (Biogenosis, Noshaq, KU Leuven) also participated in the round.
Further to this, Imcyse also received a grant worth €4.6M ($5.2M) from the Walloon region (DGO6) and a bank loan of €2M ($2.3M) from Belfius.
These proceeds will be used to advance phase 2 clinical development of Imcyse’s Imotopes™ technology in type 1 diabetes, to initiate clinical trials in multiple sclerosis and other auto-immune diseases and to expand the technology to further indications.
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.
At the end of 2017, Imcyse launched a double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation clinical study in patients with recent onset insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes in seven European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Lithuania, Sweden and the UK). The trial investigates the safety, immune responses and efficacy of Imcyse’s Imotopes™ technology, with results expected end of summer 2019.
“Imcyse’s unique technology platform has shown great potential and we are thrilled to see it advance in type 1 diabetes as well as it being extended to novel indications,” said Jörg Neerman, Partner at LSP.
“We are happy to have raised this substantial amount of private and public financing for our future research and clinical developments,” said Pierre Vandepapelière, CEO and CMO of Imcyse. “The success of this round is a further validation of the technology platform, following already established collaborations with major pharma companies. We are convinced that Imcyse’s technology can bring great hope for patients with severe diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and many orphan indications. It is also a clear recognition for Imcyse’s team, who have worked hard to improve the platform and the company and to generate excellent results.”
“As an historical investor, we are delighted that Imcyse’s technology has proven to be successful. We are looking forward to further promising results through new clinical research,” said Marc Foidart, COO at Noshaq.
“Imcyse’s technology can be a game changer for the health of patients with severe diseases for which there are no cures,” said Stijn Van Rompay, private investor. “Thanks to the great work of the Imcyse team, we are confident that we were right to accompany this project since its initial days and I am very happy with this important funding that is a major step towards a great success.”
“Imcyse is a Walloon biotech company with a unique technology that gives hope to patients living with immune-mediated diseases such as type 1-diabetes. We are very pleased to invest in this exciting project and are looking forward to being part of this adventure,” said Christina Franssen, investment manager at S.R.I.W.
“We are pleased to be associated with Imcyse’s development. We congratulate the team on bringing together such a group of experienced investors to back its project. It shows that the company chose the right path to address key indications including type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases,” said François Fontaine, investment manager at SFPI.
“Imcyse has a unique and very promising technology backed by an experienced team. With the strong shareholder base syndicated around the project, we are very confident in the future realization of its potential. Imcyse perfectly fitted our investment criteria,” says Marc Moles Le Bailly, chairman of the board at Epimède.
“This round is a major achievement for Imcyse. We are excited to see that groundbreaking fundamental research and inventions from our university are being transformed in breakthrough new therapies by Imcyse, impacting the lives of patients,” said Paul Van Dun, general manager of KU Leuven Research and Development.
PE Group and NautaDutilh Belgium acted as advisors to Imcyse for this transaction.
Dentons Europe LLP acted as advisor to the investors for this transaction.
LSP (Life Sciences Partners) is an independent European investment firm, providing financing for private and public life sciences companies. LSP’s mission is to connect investors to inventors, focusing on unmet medical needs. Since the late 1980s, LSP’s management has invested in about 100 innovative enterprises, many of which have grown to become leaders in the global life sciences industry. With over €2 billion ($2.3bn) of investment capital raised to date and offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP is one of Europe’s leading life sciences investors. LSP also invests in public companies through its Euronext-listed LSP Life Sciences Fund (Bloomberg: LSP NA).
Noshaq is the reference financial partner for the creation and development of SMEs in the Liege Region. Over the years, Noshaq has developed a range of financing vehicles in line with the needs and trends of the market and its strategy. Each service offered by Noshaq (capital – loan – leasing) is always determined according to the demands and needs of the owner-investor. The objective is always to have a leverage effect on the company’s development.
About S.R.I.W. Life Sciences
Société Régionale d’Investissement de Wallonie (S.R.I.W) provides equity and/or debt relief to companies that generate added value and employment in Wallonia. S.R.I.W. facilitates the region’s economic development, contributing effectively to the modernization, growth and restructuring of the businesses that make up the Walloon industrial ecosystem. In the life sciences sector, S.R.I.W. is investor in 40 companies such as IBA, Celyad and Mithra Pharmaceuticals. Its current life sciences portfolio fair value is close to €200 Million ($225M).
For over 7 years, SFPI has been developing a support strategy for the Belgian ecosystem in biotech, medtech and other healthcare technologies. This strategy enabled the fund to support more than 30 projects throughout Belgium through funds or by direct participation.
Epimède is an investment fund whose objective is to contribute to the financing of the growing phases of the most promising technology companies located in the Walloon Region and in the region of Brussels Capital.
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 destroy locally 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 and has launched its first clinical trial in type 1 diabetes in seven European countries.
Other projects, which address multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, are at preclinical and proof-of-concept research stages, respectively.
Founded in 2010, Imcyse is a spin-off from the KU Leuven university, Belgium. The company is based near the Belgian city of Liège. It is managed by a group of pharmaceutical industry experts.