Amsterdam-headquartered VectorY Therapeutics, a prominent biotechnology company, unveiled its successful fundraising effort on Monday, securing €129 million in a Series A funding round, jointly led by EQT Life Sciences and the Forbion Growth Opportunities Fund.
Furthermore, this financing round saw the active participation of both fresh and established investors, which encompassed MRL Ventures Fund, the corporate venture arm of Merck & Co., Inc., based in Rahway, NJ, USA, Insight Partners, ALS Investment Fund, Forbion Ventures, BioGeneration Ventures (BGV), and another notable investor.
VectorY Therapeutics intends to allocate the recent capital infusion to bolster the clinical development of VTx-002, its leading vectorized antibody program designed to target TDP-43 for the treatment of ALS.
These funds will also expedite the advancement of VectorY’s vectorized antibody platform and additional pipeline programs tailored to address proteinopathies that give rise to various neurodegenerative diseases.
Sander van Deventer, CEO of VectorY Therapeutics, remarks, “The Series A financing, backed by a robust consortium of European and US Investors, serves as an endorsement of our groundbreaking approach, our world-class team, and our unwavering commitment to delivering much-needed therapies to individuals affected by neurodegenerative diseases. Our program holds a distinctive position in addressing TDP-43 pathology, a prevalent factor underlying the disease in the majority of ALS patients. Furthermore, the Series A funding will support the progression of additional pipeline programs targeting proteinopathies in neurodegenerative diseases, showcasing the broad potential of our platform.”
As part of this funding round, Wouter Joustra (General Partner at Forbion), Arno de Wilde (Director at EQT Life Sciences), and Karin Kleinhans (Partner at MRL Ventures Fund) will assume seats on VectorY Therapeutics’s board of directors.
Introducing VTx-002: A Breakdown of VectorY’s Leading Antibody Program
VectorY Therapeutics is developing VTx-002 with the aim of slowing down the progression of ALS and maintaining the quality of life for patients affected by the disease.
VTx-002, which is presently in the preclinical development phase, represents a vectorized antibody designed to specifically remove misfolded and aggregated TDP-43 molecules from neuronal cell cytoplasm. This process restores the crucial function of TDP-43 in the nucleus, ultimately preserving the functionality and well-being of neuronal cells.
It’s important to note that ALS carries an estimated lifetime risk of 1 in 250 for males and 1 in 400 for females in Western countries. ALS is a condition that leads to the gradual deterioration of motor neurons, resulting in an average life expectancy of only two to five years following diagnosis. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure available to halt or reverse the progression of ALS, and while treatments do exist, they can only marginally slow down the disease’s advancement, offering patients a few additional months of relief.
VectorY: Pioneering Innovative Vectorized Antibody Therapies
Under the leadership of Sander van Deventer, VectorY Therapeutics is on a mission to extend and enhance the lives of patients grappling with neurodegenerative diseases through the development of groundbreaking vectorized antibody treatments.
VectorY Therapeutics’s pioneering platform marries the potential of precisely targeted therapeutic antibodies with one-time delivery via AAV (Adeno-Associated Virus) to the central nervous system (CNS).
The company leverages its distinct and extensive in-house proficiency spanning antibodies, AAV vectors, protein degradation, manufacturing, and neuroscience. This multifaceted expertise fuels the swift advancement of urgently needed disease-modifying therapies, particularly for neurodegenerative conditions such as ALS and Huntington’s disease.
About the Investors
EQT Life Sciences, previously known as LSP, stands as one of Europe’s largest and most seasoned healthcare investors, with a primary focus on pioneering life sciences and healthcare companies.
Arno de Wilde, Director at EQT Life Sciences, expresses admiration for VectorY’s distinctive capabilities in merging gene and antibody therapy drug development with profound expertise in neuroscience. He underscores the company’s technology, which enables precise protein degradation while reinstating or conserving normal protein function—a versatile solution with applications spanning multiple neurodegenerative diseases. EQT Life Sciences will channel its investments from its Dementia Fund, overseen by Prof. Philip Scheltens. They intend to leverage their specialized expertise and network to join VectorY Therapeutics in its mission to advance much-needed treatments for neurodegenerative disorders.
Forbion, a venture capital firm, collaborates closely with entrepreneurs to nurture life sciences companies that have the potential to significantly impact people’s lives. Currently, the VC manages a portfolio exceeding €2.3 billion across ten funds.
As of October 2022, Forbion boasts 43 active portfolio companies, bringing its cumulative investments to 95 companies, all while maintaining a dedicated team of 46 professionals.
Wouter Joustra, General Partner at Forbion, highlights VectorY Therapeutics as an exemplary company cultivated by Forbion through its Ventures division, which initially facilitated proof of concept. Now, with its Growth Opportunities fund, Forbion is committed to further supporting VectorY through substantial value-generating milestones. The Forbion team takes pride in its longstanding involvement, beginning at the inception of this innovative technology, which holds the potential to surmount the limitations of existing therapeutic approaches in treating proteinopathy-driven diseases. Key attributes of this technology include target selectivity, access to the central nervous system, and durability of response.