Mérieux Développement leads $21 mln Series B funding in ImaginAb

Mérieux Développement has led a $21 million Series B funding round in ImaginAb Inc., a clinical stage biotech company. The funding was syndicated with Novartis Venture Funds, Cycad Group and Nextech Invest.

Press Release

ImaginAb, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company that engineers antibodies into smaller protein formats optimized for in vivo molecular imaging, announced today the completion of a $21M Series B financing of the company, led by Mérieux Développement and syndicated with Novartis Venture Funds, Cycad Group and Nextech Invest.

Dr. Christian Behrenbruch, co-founder and CEO of ImaginAb commented, “We have made excellent progress with our programs in cancer and immunology, and we are pleased to have concluded this round of growth capital to accelerate the development of IAB2M, our lead program in prostate cancer, and continue to expand our product pipeline.”

“ImaginAb’s prostate cancer imaging program has demonstrated impressive clinical data. We are convinced that ImaginAb’s IAB2M PSMA PET imaging agent has the potential to transform the management of high-risk patients for surgical staging and biochemical recurrence,” stated Valérie Calenda, Partner at Mérieux Développement. “The sensitivity and specificity of an antibody fragment approach also has the potential to change the way we understand occult disease, for example the non-metastatic, or ‘M0,’ patient population in castrate-resistant prostate cancer.”

Dr. Abbie Celniker, Chair of the Board of ImaginAb also commented, “In addition to the Company’s progress in imaging prostate cancer, ImaginAb is developing antibody-fragment based imaging of CD8+ T cells. Molecular imaging has the power to inform many cancer immunotherapy strategies around important targets such as PD-1/L1 and CTLA-4, which require innovative ways of measuring and monitoring immune response.”

ImaginAb’s pipeline of imaging agents for prostate, pancreatic and ovarian cancer have the potential to redefine the staging and management of diseases that currently face significant challenges in clinical practice. The Company’s CD3 and CD8 “immunoPET” imaging programs deliver a clearer understanding of the role of immune function and response in a variety of disease settings, including cancer and autoimmune diseases. ImaginAb’s internal product pipeline is augmented by approximately 30 collaborations with global pharmaceutical companies for a variety of cancer, immune/inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease targets.

About ImaginAb
ImaginAb is redefining therapeutic management by harnessing the power of antibody technology for in vivo imaging. The company’s proprietary antibody fragment platform yields actionable molecular information to guide treatment decisions in cancer and immunology. ImaginAb also collaborates with select biopharmaceutical partners to design imaging agents as companion diagnostics for therapeutic antibodies. ImaginAb’s technology is positioned to deliver on the promise of precision medicine by improving patient outcomes and reducing the cost of healthcare.

For more information, visit www.imaginab.com.

About Mérieux Développement
Mérieux Développement is an investment firm dedicated to healthcare through venture capital and growth capital investment. Mérieux Développement is a subsidiary of Institut Mérieux with 15,000 employees globally and consolidated revenues in excess of EUR 2.0 billion (2013). Other companies within the Mérieux family holdings include bioMérieux, Mérieux NutriSciences, Transgene and Advanced BioScience Laboratories, Inc. Mérieux Développement works closely with entrepreneurs committed to delivering products and services that deliver genuine advancements to patient health and healthcare outcomes.

For more information, please visit: www.merieux-developpement.com.

About Novartis Venture Funds
Founded in 1996, Novartis Venture Funds currently manage over $800 million in committed capital. As a financially driven corporate life science investor, the Novartis Venture Funds invest in those companies which have the potential to lead the next innovation wave in our core therapeutic fields or explore new business areas that will be critical to patient care. Since its formation, Novartis Venture Funds have invested in more than 70 companies in the biotech and medical device sectors. The Novartis Venture Funds’ team of ten investment professionals located in Basel Switzerland and Cambridge, MA brings together extensive expertise in life sciences and venture capital.

For more information, visit www.venturefund.novartis.com.

About Cycad Group
Cycad Group is a venture capital firm focused on investments in companies with enabling solutions, disruptive technologies and innovative products. Cycad Group pursues investment opportunities in the life sciences, energy production, and advanced materials / chemical processes. With experience investing in all phases of development, from seed through PIPE transactions, Cycad Group seeks opportunities to work with exceptional entrepreneurs creating technology-driven businesses.

For more information, visit: www.cycadvc.com.

About Nextech Invest
Nextech Invest is a global investment manager founded 1998 and located in Zurich, Switzerland. With its unique oncology-focused funds, Nextech Invest is a dedicated investor in leading oncology companies developing cancer drugs and diagnostics. Nextech Invest benefits from the support of an active and committed Scientific Advisory Board of highly influential oncology advisors, chaired by David Livingston, MD, deputy director at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Cancer Center.

For more information, visit www.nextechinvest.com.