Novo Seeds co-leads €20 Million Series A Financing in STipe Therapeutics
Copenhagen, Denmark, 30 September 2019: Novo Seeds, the company creation team of Novo Holdings, announced today that it has co-led the €20 million Series A financing round in STipe Therapeutics (STipe).
STipe, a spinout from the Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark in 2018, was founded to exploit the stimulator of interferon genes (STING) pathway, a major driver of innate immunity and regulator of tumorigenesis and autoimmune disorders. It was initially funded by Novo Seeds’ internal company building engine and funded through the pre-seed grant programme of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. STipe was one of the first start-ups to be incubated at the BioInnovation Institute (BII) - a Novo Nordisk Foundation initiative. The new financing cements Novo Seeds’ commitment as a player in biotech company creation, but also demonstrates how it synergistically collaborates with BII to mature early stage biotech companies.
Morten Graugaard Døssing, Partner at Novo Seeds commented: “Novo Seeds’ strategy is to identify, build and invest in innovative companies founded on the best science globally, and build locally. STipe Therapeutics is a great example due to its novel and truly differentiated way of modulating the STING pathway addressing key limitations of first-generation direct STING agonists which could translate to a meaningful difference to patients. It has been a true pleasure to work alongside the STipe founding team over these past three years as part of the incubation phase, and we would like to congratulate them on this important milestone for the Company. We look forward to continuing this exciting journey alongside the new investors Arix, Sunstone and Wellington.”
STipe is exploiting the innate immune response to target a range of solid tumours, both directly and in combination with other antitumoral agents. The company is developing first-in-class drugs targeting intracellular protein-protein interactions of the STING pathway. STipe’s STING modulator programs are significantly differentiated to the first-generation direct acting STING agonists in that they can sensitize peripheral innate immune cells to be activated in the Tumour Micro Environment (TME) by detecting even a small amount of tumour-DNA and induce a synergistic immune response.
Dr Claus Elsborg Olesen, Chief Executive Officer of STipe commented: “The successful financing underscores the potential of our innovative technology and product pipeline. We are grateful for the support we have received from Novo Seeds and the BII since our incubation three years ago, and look forward to leveraging their, and our new investors extensive experience as we develop multi-product opportunities to target cancer.”
Jens Nielsen, CEO of BioInnovation Institute added: “Our goal is to incubate exciting academic research projects and provide the right help, network and commercial support to entrepreneurs. STipe Therapeutics is the first company to come out of the BioInnovation Institute since our inauguration less than a year ago and demonstrates how we can help and support early stage life science innovations to benefit society.”
STipe’s €20 million Series A financing was co-led by Novo Holdings A/S and Arix Bioscience plc, who were joined by Wellington Partners Life Science Venture Capital Management GmbH and Sunstone LSV General Partner IV ApS.