Novo Seeds co-led a 20 million euros Series A funding round in Stipe Therapeutics alongside Arix Bioscience. Other investors in the funding round include Wellington Partners Life Science Venture Capital Management and Sunstone LSV General Partner IV.
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.
About Novo Holdings A/S
Novo Holdings A/S is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It is the holding and investment company of the Novo Group, comprising Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, and is responsible for managing the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s assets.
Novo Holdings is recognized as a leading international life science investor, with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life science investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a broad portfolio of diversified financial assets. Further information: http://www.novoholdings.dk
About BioInnovation Institute
BioInnovation Institute (BII) is an international initiative for research-based innovation and entrepreneurship, embracing every phase of a life-science start-up. BII, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, offers start-ups within medtech, biotech and pharma 2300 square-meters of state-of-the art lab and office facilities, business acceleration programs, start-up business incubation, commercial support, unique funding opportunities and access to high-level mentoring and international networks. BII is an initiative of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Read more on www.bioinnovationinstitute.com
About STipe Therapeutics
STipe Therapeutics is a privately held biotechnology company with a vision to become a leader in the immune-oncology field, pioneer therapies using a novel aspect of the stimulator of interferon genes (STING) Pathway to target cancer. The Company was spun out from Aarhus University, Denmark in 2018 with the support of a PreSeed Grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and subsequently taking part in the Creation House program, including a convertible loan, from BioInnovation Institute (the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s Biotech Incubator initiative). This was followed by an EUR 20 million in a Series A financing in September 2019. The round was co-led by Arix Bioscience plc and Novo Holdings A/S who were joined by Wellington Partners Life Science V Fund and Sunstone Life Science Ventures A/S.