AMAL, the Swiss biotech developing novel, peptide-based therapeutic cancer vaccines, today announces that it has completed the first tranche of its Series B financing round, raising €8 million (CHF 8.8 million).
The Company will use the funds to progress its lead vaccine (ATP128) towards clinical studies and proof-of-concept in colorectal cancer. It will also further develop its proprietary therapeutic tumour vaccination technology platform called KISIMA.
Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF), BioMedPartners and Helsinn Investment Fund are cornerstone investors, with VI Partners, High-Tech Gründerfonds and Schroder Adveq also participating.
AMAL is Schroder Adveq’s first investment in Life Sciences in Switzerland. It is also Helsinn’s first ever investment in Switzerland.
AMAL’s KISIMA technology demonstrated potent and multi-antigenic long lasting anti-tumour immunity and prevented tumour immune escape in pre-clinical models. This promising preclinical efficacy is achieved through the combination of a Cell Penetrating Peptide (CPP) with a multi-antigenic chimeric cargo and a toll-like receptor agonist in one recombinant protein.
Dr Hanna Kleczkowska from Helsinn Investment Fund and Dr Andreas Wallnöfer from BioMedPartners become members of AMAL’s Supervisory Board. Dr Erwin Boos from Schroder Adveq joins the Board as Board Observer.
Dr Madiha Derouazi, CEO and founder of AMAL Therapeutics said: “The potential of our KISIMA technology platform and value of our scientific assets has been validated by this Series B investment by prestigious investors. We are now in a position to progress our lead vaccine, ATP128, for colorectal cancer into the clinic and continue to develop our pipeline in other cancer indications.”
Dr Knut Elbers, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund representative on AMAL’s Board added: “We believe that AMAL’s KISIMA technology could revolutionise the peptide-based cancer vaccine field – bringing an innovative new technology to the patient, this is why we invested as seed investor in the company. We believe AMAL is an innovator in the field of immunotherapies and we look forward to working with Madiha and the team to help the Company grow.”
Dr. Andreas Wallnöfer, BioMedPartners representative on AMAL’s Board stated: “AMAL Therapeutics next generation vaccines have the potential to convert and combat tumours that have so far not been accessible to the immune system. The technology could also enhance the efficacy of immuno-oncology therapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors and unravel the full potential of therapeutic cancer vaccines for patients in need. This is an enormous motivation for us to engage.”
Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group Vice Chairman and CEO, commented: “AMAL Therapeutics is a highly innovative company with great leadership, and its novel KISIMA cancer vaccine technology platform that targets and kills tumorous cells has the potential to bring significant benefit to people with cancer. AMAL is exactly the type of Company that Helsinn Investment Fund looks to support and we look forward to working with them to help support their clinical progress.”