Bergen, Norway-based Cytovation AS, a clinical-stage immune-oncology company, announced on Tuesday that it has raised NOK 180M (approx €17.69M) in its Series A round of funding.
The round was led by Norwegian VC firm Sandwater, and Canica, an investment company operating out of Norway and Switzerland. Sandwater invests in groundbreaking companies across a range of industries including life sciences, while Canica is focused on building companies that aim to create value for investors and society as a whole.
“Leading the way in lytic immunotherapy”
Founded in 2001 and currently led by CEO Lars Prestegarden, Cytovation is a privately held, clinical-stage immune-oncology company focused on developing CyPep-1, the first synthetic peptide engineered to selectively target tumour cell membranes based on their altered molecular composition. The company is a spin-off from the University of Bergen (Norway).
CyPep-1 eliminates cancer cells by forming pores in the plasma membrane, releasing cancer-specific antigens to the immune system, promoting an inflammatory microenvironment and inducing a tumour-specific immune response by in-situ vaccination.
Preclinical data suggest this mode of action is highly synergistic in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.
The biotech company claims that the proceeds from this round will help it to further advance and expand its clinical development plans in cancer treatment. Cytovation is also looking forward to reporting further data from this clinical programme in 2022.
Lars Prestegarden, MD, PhD, CEO of Cytovation, says, “We continue to make excellent progress with CyPep-1 in our Phase I/II CICILIA clinical trial and following promising data from the first monotherapy part of the study, we have begun patient dosing of CyPep-1 in combination with Keytruda in patients with a range of solid tumours. Additionally, we will now have the financial flexibility to investigate opportunities to expand our CyPep-1 development pipeline.”