Financing includes leading life-science investors Gilde Healthcare, Forbion, Novartis Venture Fund and Eli Lilly and Company
Glasgow, UK, 17 March 2021 – Amphista Therapeutics, a leader in next generation targeted protein degradation (TPD) approaches, today announced the closing of a $53 million (£38 million) Series B financing round. The round was co-led by Forbion and Gilde Healthcare. Additional investors in this round include Novartis Venture Fund, and Eli Lilly and Company, joining existing investor BioMotiv and founding investor Advent Life Sciences. The proceeds will be used to accelerate the company’s growing pipeline of potent and selective bifunctional molecules, known as ‘Amphistas’ to the clinic and to extend its proprietary TPD platform.
Amphista’s CEO Nicola Thompson said, “This financing round, led by an outstanding investor syndicate, is a strong endorsement of our world class team and our novel approach. Amphista will now accelerate its oncology pipeline towards the clinic and extend our portfolio into indications largely inaccessible by traditional TPD approaches, such as diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). This oversubscribed Series B supports our ambition as a world-leading next generation protein degradation company delivering ground-breaking new medicines to patients in areas of high unmet need.”
Rogier Rooswinkel, Partner at co-lead investor, Forbion said, “We are delighted to have selected Amphista as the first company to invest in from our fifth fund that closed late last year. Amphista combines several attributes we typically look for: a world-class team, innovative science, and a disruptive technology that has the potential to improve treatment options and thus impact many patients’ lives.”
Stefan Luzi, Partner at co-lead investor Gilde, said, “Amphista emerged as the best-in-class protein degradation company in our comprehensive landscaping effort. We believe this team, who are pioneers in this field, combined with a truly unique platform, will unlock the full therapeutic potential of a broad range of disease targets. Amphista represents a strong fit with Gilde’s longstanding strategy of identifying Europe’s leading science and of engaging with experienced drug developers to build and support high growth (bio)pharma companies.”
Amphista’s TPD approach offers a greatly improved way of treating disease and modulating drug targets, using synthetic small molecule degraders. Amphista’s next generation bifunctional degraders use a novel set of mechanisms that make use of a wider range of the body’s own innate protein degrading proteins, instead of the very narrow set of ubiquitin E3 ligase-based mechanisms used by most other TPD companies. This proprietary approach offers the potential to overcome many of the limitations seen with current TPD approaches, providing the opportunity to treat a wider range of diseases. Amphista is focused on biological targets with a high level of clinical or genetic validation, allowing the team to focus on the translation of their novel TPD approach for clinical benefit in areas of high unmet need.
In association with this financing, Amphista has added the following leading life science executives to the Board: Stefan Luzi, Partner at Gilde Healthcare; Rogier Rooswinkel, Partner at Forbion; and Florian Muellershausen, Managing Director at Novartis Venture Fund.
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CEO Nicola Thompson
About Amphista Therapeutics
Amphista Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company creating first-in-class therapeutics that harness the body’s natural processes to selectively and efficiently degrade and remove disease-causing proteins. The company’s pipeline of novel targeted protein degradation (TPD) based medicines is focused on challenging diseases including cancer. Founded by Advent Life Sciences, Amphista is a spin-out of TPD expert Professor Alessio Ciulli’s labs at the University of Dundee. The company has raised approximately £45M to date and is funded by leading life science investors including Forbion, Gilde Healthcare, Novartis Venture Fund, Advent Life Sciences, BioMotiv and Eli Lilly and Company.
For more information, please visit www.amphista.com
About Advent Life Sciences
Advent Life Sciences founds and invests in early- and mid-stage life sciences companies that have a first- or best-in-class approach to unmet medical needs. The investing team consists of experienced professionals, each with extensive scientific, medical and operational experience, a long-standing record of entrepreneurial and investment success in the UK, the US and Europe and is particularly focused on supporting entrepreneurs and founders to take innovative new medical entities from concept to approval. The firm invests in a range of sectors within life sciences, principally drug discovery, enabling technologies and med tech, always with an emphasis on innovative, paradigm-changing approaches. Advent Life Sciences has a presence in the UK, US and France.
For more information, please visit www.AdventLS.com
Forbion is a dedicated life sciences venture capital firm with offices in The Netherlands, Germany and Singapore. Forbion invests in life sciences companies that are active in the (bio-) pharmaceutical space.
Forbion manages well over EUR 1.7 billion across multiple fund strategies that cover all stages of (bio)pharmaceutical drug development. Forbion’s current team consists of 20 life sciences investment professionals that have built an impressive performance track record since the late nineties with successful investments in over 69 companies.
The firm is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Besides financial objectives, Forbion selects investments that will positively affect the health and wellbeing of patients. Its investors include the EIF, through its European Recovery Programme (ERP), LfA, Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI), AMUF and EFSI facilities and KfW Capital through the Programme, “ERP – Venture Capital Fonds investments”. Forbion operates a joint venture with BGV, the manager of seed and early-stage funds, especially focused on Benelux and Germany.
For more information, please visit www.forbion.com
About Gilde Healthcare
Gilde Healthcare is a specialized healthcare investor with $1.8 billion under management across two fund strategies: Venture & Growth and Private Equity. The firm operates out of offices in Utrecht (The Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany) and Cambridge (United States).
Gilde Healthcare Venture & Growth invests in innovative companies active in (Bio)Pharmaceuticals, HealthTech and MedTech. The portfolio of the Venture & Growth fund is balanced with fast growing life science companies from Europe and North America.
For more information, please visit www.gildehealthcare.com
About Novartis Venture Fund
Novartis Venture Fund is a financially driven corporate life science venture fund whose purpose is to foster innovation, drive significant patient benefit and generate superior returns by creating and investing in innovative life science companies at various stages of their development.
For more information, please visit www.nvfund.com
About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global health care leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. They were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today they remain true to that mission in all their work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism.
BioMotiv is a mission-driven accelerator associated with The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, a $340 million initiative focused on advancing early stage breakthrough discoveries from research institutions into medicines. Led by a highly accomplished and passionate team of veteran biopharma experts, BioMotiv’s innovative model efficiently aligns resources and capital to select, fund, manage and advance a portfolio of drug development programs.
For more information, please visit www.biomotiv.com