Amsterdam-based VectorY Therapeutics, a biotech company, announced on Monday that it has secured €129M in a Series A round of funding co-led by EQT Life Sciences and the Forbion Growth Opportunities Fund.
Additionally, new and existing investors also participated in the financing, including MRL Ventures Fund, a corporate venture arm of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ USA, Insight Partners, ALS Investment Fund, Forbion Ventures, BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) and another known investor.
VectorY says it will use the latest capital to support the clinical development of VTx-002, its lead vectorized antibody program targeting TDP-43 for ALS treatment.
The funds will also accelerate the development of the company’s vectorized antibody platform and additional pipeline programs targeting proteinopathies causing other neurodegenerative diseases.
Sander van Deventer, CEO of VectorY says, “The Series A financing, supported by such a strong syndicate of European and US investors, is an endorsement of our pioneering approach, world-class team, and commitment to bring much-needed therapies to patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Our program is uniquely positioned to address TDP-43 pathology, which underlies the disease in the vast majority of ALS patients. The series A will also support the advancement of additional pipeline programs targeting proteinopathies in neurodegenerative diseases demonstrating the broad potential of our platform.”
As a part of the 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 join VectorY’s board of directors.
What is VTx-002?
VectorY develops VTx-002 to delay disease progression and preserve the quality of life of ALS patients.
VTx-002, currently in preclinical development, is a vectorised antibody that selectively clears misfolded and aggregated TDP-43 from the cytoplasm of neuronal cells.
Thereby, it restores the essential function of TDP-43 in the nucleus leading to preservation of neuronal cell function and health.
ALS has an estimated lifetime risk of 1:250 in males and 1:400 in females in the Western world.
ALS is a disease that causes the gradual deterioration of motor neurons, resulting in an average life expectancy of only two to five years after diagnosis.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure available to halt or reverse the progression of ALS.
While treatments are available, they can only slow the disease progression by a few months.
VectorY: Developing innovative vectorised antibody therapies
Led by Sander van Deventer, VectorY aims to provide patients with neurodegenerative diseases a longer, better life by creating transformative vectorized antibody treatments.
The company’s platform combines the promise of precise therapeutic antibodies with one-time AAV-based delivery to the CNS.
The company’s unique in-house expertise in antibodies, AAV vectors, protein degradation, manufacturing, and neuroscience drive the rapid development of much-needed disease-modifying therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and Huntington’s.
EQT Life Sciences (formerly LSP), is one of Europe’s largest and most experienced healthcare investors, targeting innovative life sciences and healthcare companies.
Arno de Wilde, Director at EQT Life Sciences, says, “We are very impressed with VectorY’s unique capabilities to combine gene and antibody therapy drug development with deep neuroscience expertise. The Company’s technology allows targeted protein degradation while restoring or preserving normal protein function, with applications across multiple neurodegenerative diseases. EQT Life Sciences will invest from its Dementia Fund, led by Prof. Philip Scheltens, leveraging its specific expertise & network and joining VectorY in its mission to develop much-needed treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.”
Forbion is a venture capital firm that works closely with entrepreneurs to build life sciences companies that transform people’s lives. The VC currently manages over €2.3B across ten funds.
As of October 2022, Forbion holds 43 active portfolio companies bringing its investments to 95 companies to date with 46 employees.
Wouter Joustra, General Partner at Forbion, says, “VectorY is a prime example of a company built by Forbion through our Ventures arm, enabling initial proof of concept, and now stepping in with our Growth Opportunities fund to further support the company through significant value generating milestones. The Forbion team is excited to have been there from the beginning, supporting the development of an innovative technology that has the potential to overcome the limitations of current therapeutic approaches, to treat proteinopathy-driven diseases, including target selectivity, access to the CNS and durability of response.”