Amcure Receives EUR 5 Million Funding for the Development of New Tumour Therapeutic Agents
Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany, July 17, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- amcure, a spin-off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), has closed a Series A financing deal amounting to a total of EUR 5 million. The funding comes from a consortium headed by LBBW Venture Capital, with participations from KfW, MBG Mittelstaendische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Wuerttemberg, S-Kap Beteiligungen Pforzheim, BioM AG as well as private investors. The company also receives subsidies from the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under their special programme Spinnovator, managed by Ascenion.
amcure will use the funding to continue the development of their product candidates for treating metastasising tumours, which have resulted from the long-term work of Dr. Véronique Orian-Rousseau and her team at KIT. amcure's series of development candidates specifically binds to a special isoform of the surface molecule CD44, thus interfering with central signalling pathways in tumour growth. This prevents new blood vessels from forming (angiogenesis) and cancer cells from migrating and invading other organs (metastasising). "In vivo data indicate that our molecules not only stop the growth of primary tumours, but may also prevent the development of metastases and induce the regression of existing metastases," explains Dr. Alexandra Matzke, Chief Scientific Officer of amcure. "We seldom see such convincing data in models. If these observations are confirmed by clinical trials with patients, then amcure can lay the foundation for treating tumours much more effectively and with far fewer side effects," adds Dr. Harald Poth, Senior Investment Manager at LBBW Venture Capital.
The target structure of amcure's development candidates, CD44v6, which was discovered in the 1990s by Professor Helmut Ponta's group at KIT, plays a significant role with many types of tumours. CD44 and its isoforms are increasingly regarded as significant factors for the spreading and formation of metastases. Blocking the receptor CD44v6 opens opportunities for a wide-ranging application in tumour therapy. Assisted by KIT and subsidies from the Federal Government and Helmholtz Association, amcure has grown to become a leading company in this field.
When metastasising types of tumour are treated, there is always an urgent medical demand. 95 percent of all patients suffering from pancreatic cancer, a type of cancer often diagnosed late and one of the most aggressive types of all, die within 5 years from the initial diagnosis.
"The consortium around the LBBW Venture consists of experienced investors having extensive networks," says Dr. Matthias Klaften, Chief Executive Officer of amcure. "We are happy to have convinced them of our development approach so that now the next steps regarding the preclinical and clinical stages can be financed," explains Klaften.
About LBBW Venture Capital
LBBW Venture Capital GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of Landesbank Baden-Württemberg. They invest mostly in life sciences and industrial technologies with a regional focus on southwest Germany. http://www.lbbw-venture.de/
amcure GmbH is a spin-off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology established in 2012. The company develops peptide active ingredients for the treatment of highly metastatic carcinomas. The first of their development candidates have entered advanced preclinical trials. Relevant proof-of-concept studies indicate a unique effectiveness regarding different types of tumours, especially pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Matthias Klaften
Hermann-von Helmholtz-Platz 1
Phone: +49 7247 934249-0
Fax:+49 7247 934249-9