MUNICH, Germany I October 28, 2014 I ImevaX GmbH, a specialist in vaccines against pathogens of chronic infectious diseases, announces today the completion of a EUR 7.5 million Series A financing round. The round was led by Wellington Partners. Co-lead investors were BioMedPartners with their BioMedInvest-II LP fund, EMBL Ventures and Santo Venture Capital. ImevaX is a 2014 spin-out from the Technische Universität München (TUM) and has been recently awarded a EUR 5.9 million financing from the GO-Bio Phase II program of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The funds will be used to advance lead candidate IMX 101 through clinical trials before partnering. IMX 101 is a highly specific vaccine against Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Chronic infections of the stomach with H. pylori are the most common bacterial infections worldwide and lead to gastritis, stomach ulcers and potentially stomach cancer. Due to the high global infection rate and the decreasing efficacy of existing antibiotics against H. pylori plus the poor safety profile of these treatments, there exists a high medical need and a significant commercial interest in a H. pylori vaccine.
"In light of the pandemic nature of H. pylori infections and the high medical need, it is essential to develop novel treatment strategies for this chronic disease," said Professor Erich Schlick, General Partner at Wellington Partners and member of the Advisory Board of ImevaX GmbH. "This is why we are strongly committed to the ImevaX vaccine approach."
Dr Markus Hosang of BiomedPartners, Dr Jan Adams of EMBL Ventures and Dr Ulrich Granzer of Granzer Regulatory Consulting have also joined the Advisory Board of ImevaX.
Volker Wedershoven, Chief Executive Officer of ImevaX GmbH since September 1, 2014 commented: "We are delighted to receive this strong support from such experienced life sciences investors; their knowledge and experience will be invaluable to the development of ImevaX and our pipeline of infectious diseases treatments. This round of financing will support the development of IMX 101 into the clinic and potentially into partnering discussions. In the meantime, we will also apply our technology platform to other selected infectious diseases."
"The success of the IMX 101 project is based primarily on the performance of the whole team, the support of the Institute of Microbiology at TUM and the confidence of our investors and the BMBF, which has contributed significantly to the financing of ImevaX", Professor Markus Gerhard, founder and Chief Science Officer of ImevaX GmbH said.
ImevaX is a biopharmaceutical company founded in 2014 based in Munich, Germany. The focus is to combat chronic and nosocomial infections by creating specific vaccines. The company's lead candidate IMX 101 is a vaccine against Helicobacter pylori, which colonizes the stomach and is the cause of ulcer disease and gastric cancer in humans. Founder Markus Gerhard and his team discovered that the colonization ability (and hence, the infectiousness) of H. pylori depends on a secreted bacterial factor that down-regulates the host immune system. Many other highly infectious pathogens have evolved similar immune evasion mechanisms, which are the focus of the ImevaX screening program. For more information please visit: www.imevax.com.
About Wellington Partners
Wellington Partners is one of the most successful pan-European venture capital firms. With some EUR 850 million under management and offices in London, Munich, Palo Alto and Zurich, the firm invests into companies throughout Europe that have the potential to become global leaders in the areas of Life Sciences, Digital Media and Software. Since 1998, Wellington Partners has invested in more than 100 European companies, including now publicly traded Actelion, Evolva, Genticel, Implanet, Oxford Immunotec, Supersonic Imagine and privately held companies like AyoxxA, immatics, invendo medical, MPM Medical, MTM Laboratories (acquired by Roche), NEUWAY Pharma, Oxagen, Rigontec, Quanta, Sapiens (acquired by Medtronic), Sensimed and Symetis. www.wellington-partners.com.
BioMedPartners AG is an independent healthcare-dedicated investment firm based in Basel, Switzerland, that provides private equity and mezzanine financing to private early- to mid-stage healthcare and life science companies in Switzerland and neighboring regions (Alpine Rim). BioMedPartners have over CHF 250 million under management and have invested in or given loans to 45 companies, including now publicly traded Affimed, Arpida, Evolva and Santhera and the exited privately held companies Glycart Biotechnologies (acquired by Roche), ESBATech (acquired by Alcon/Novartis), Activaero (acquired by Vectura) and Okairos (acquired by GSK). BioMedPartners currently invest out of their BioMedInvest II LP fund, which has a size of CHF 106 million, and was closed in 2009. For more information please visit: www.biomedvc.com.
About EMBL Ventures
EMBL Ventures is an independent venture capital investor that manages two funds with a total of EUR 68 million capital on behalf of major European institutional and private investors. EMBL Ventures' close relationship with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and its technology transfer organization EMBL Enterprise Management Technology Transfer GmbH (EMBLEM) allows it to finance disruptive technologies in an entrepreneurial start-up environment, aiming ultimately for a transaction with a partner that is seeking to acquire external product innovation. EMBL Ventures is exclusively focused on life-science investments. Further information at www.embl-ventures.com.
About Santo Venture Capital
Santo Venture Capital is the venture arm of ATHOS Service GmbH, the Family Office of the Strüngmann family.