STipe Therapeutics launches with EUR 20 million to pioneer therapies using a novel aspect of the STING Pathway to target cancer
Aarhus, Denmark, 30 September 2019, STipe Therapeutics (STipe), a company founded to exploit a novel approach to the stimulator of interferon genes (STING) Pathway, a major driver of innate immunity, and regulator of tumorigenesis and autoimmune disorders, launched today with an EUR 20 million Series A financing. The round was co-led by Novo Holdings and Arix Bioscience plc who were joined by Wellington Partners Life Science V Fund and Sunstone Life Science Ventures A/S.
STipe was spun out from the Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark in 2018 and is working on harnessing the immune response to target a range of 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 innovative technology has demonstrated that it can significantly increase the sensitivity of the innate immune system to rapidly detect even a small amount of tumour-DNA. This opens up the potential to induce a synergistic immune response alone or in combination with targeted anticancer therapies, immunotherapy or radiation. STipe has identified potential lead compounds that modulate the STING pathway in a novel way, thereby changing the tumour microenvironment and demonstrating antitumor activity preclinically.
Dr Christian Schetter, Executive Chairman of Stipe and former CEO of Rigontec:
“By assembling a group of world-renowned scientific co-founders, alongside experienced company leadership, STipe has the opportunity to revolutionise the treatment of many cancers. I am delighted to be joining the Company as Executive Chairman and look forward to working with my new colleagues to develop novel cancer therapies using our unique technology.”
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 from our new shareholders and we look forward to leveraging their extensive experience as we develop multi-product opportunities to target cancer.”
Dr Jonathan Tobin, Investment Director at Arix Bioscience commented:
“We are excited about the potential of this novel angle on STING biology that has the potential to greatly enhance the efficacy and safety compared to other innate immune targeting technologies. The combination of the founders’ thorough understanding of the science with Christian Schetter’s experience and leadership in the immunotherapy space makes this a company with a great deal of potential.”
Morten Graugaard Døssing, Partner at Novo Holdings added:
“The successful fundraise for STipe Therapeutics is testament to the investors’ appetite for excellent science and technology which ultimately can make a tangible difference to patients’ lives. We have been excited to work closely with STipe Therapeutics for the last three years as part of our company creation efforts and congratulate them on this important milestone.”
STipe was cofounded and is led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Claus Elsborg Olesen, a serial life-science entrepreneur in Denmark with extensive experience in founding and developing biotech companies, alongside the Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Martin Roelsgaard Jakobsen, the founding scientist, and Associate Professor at Aarhus University. In connection with the financing Dr Christian Schetter, former CEO of Rigontec, has joined the Company as Executive Chairman and will be also be joined by new Board members, Morten Graugaard Døssing of Novo Holdings, Jonathan Tobin of Arix Bioscience, Regina Hodits of Wellington Partners, and Sten Verland of Sunstone.