5 May 2021
Cytoki Pharma raises $45 million Series A financing
Proceeds to support the development of its lead program (lipidated IL-22) through clinical proof of concept in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and explore expansion in additional pathologies related to epithelial tissue injury
Copenhagen, Denmark – 05 May 2021 – Cytoki Pharma ApS, a private biotech company incorporated in Copenhagen, Denmark, today announced a $45 million series A financing led by existing investor Lundbeckfonden Emerge (Denmark) together with Seventure Partners (France), +ND Capital (Switzerland) and Ysios Capital (Spain).
Cytoki Pharma is advancing a long-acting Interleukin-22 (IL-22) variant to clinical testing with initial focus on Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The lead compound is selected from a full program of therapeutic IL-22 variants based on an exclusive license from Novo Nordisk A/S. IL-22-based therapeutics have immense potential in treating diseases characterized by injuries to certain tissues in the body of so called “epithelial” origin. IL-22 has proven to be attractive for treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), where damage to the intestinal barrier remains the biggest unaddressed pathology of the disease. The Cytoki IL-22 program is based on a highly validated lipidation technology for generating long-acting protein therapeutics and next-generation drug formats – here applied to an emerging drug class that has demonstrated strong initial clinical promise. The proceeds of the $45 million (€38 million, DKK283 million) financing will fund the development of the lead program through Phase 1 and Phase 2a clinical testing in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and explore the therapeutic potential in other diseases characterized by injury to epithelial tissues in various organs.
Dr. Rasmus Jorgensen, founder & CEO: “Our IL-22 program holds the promise of a best-in-class therapeutic in the emerging IL-22 based drug class. We are extremely pleased with the backing from a syndicate of top international investors, which will allow us to advance our programs and make a difference in areas of severe human disease.”
Dr. Christian Elling, Managing Partner of Lundbeckfonden Emerge, and Chairman of the Cytoki Pharma Board: “Through our initial early investment we have collaborated with the founder team in creating an exciting new company that is ready for scaling and clinical testing. We warmly welcome the new investors in the company and look forward to our continued collaboration with the team, helping them progress the programs to address important unmet needs of patients.”
Isabelle de Cremoux, CEO and Managing Partner of Seventure Partners: “Cytoki is pursuing the compelling rationale that epithelial layers are key to controlling pathogenic triggers and maintaining homeostasis of tissues, the immune system and the microbiome.”
Dr. Dani Bach, Partner at +ND Capital, and director of Cytoki Pharma Board:” Cytoki’s IL-22 holds potential to change the way we treat IBD. Whereas current treatments may end up in mucosal healing after long time in a subset of patients, IL-22 addresses mucosal healing first, being the first approach to target the core of the problem.”
Karen Wagner, Managing Partner of Ysios Capital and director of Cytoki Pharma Board: “The proceeds from this round will finance first-in-human clinical trials to validate the improved pharmacokinetic properties of Cytoki’s unique long-acting IL-22, as well as proof-of-concept trials in IBD patients. We are very excited to support the development of Cytoki’s breakthrough therapeutic.”
About Cytoki Pharma
Cytoki Pharma is private biotech company incorporated in Copenhagen, Denmark. Cytoki Pharma is engaged in the development of protein drugs for diseases characterized by epithelial injury, with focus on developing a licensed long-acting IL-22 program for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and potentially additional clinical indications. For more details please visit: www.cytokipharma.com.
About Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD comprises diseases characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation and tissue damage, with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease being the principal types of IBD. The prevalence is highest in the western world where 0.5 – 1% of the population is affected by the disease. IBD is currently treated medically with immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory treatments, or surgical intervention if not sufficiently controlled. There is a large remaining unmet medical need in IBD, especially for treatments addressing the intestinal barrier damage associated with the disease. Source www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org
About Lundbeckfonden Emerge
Lundbeckfonden Emerge is the early stage investment unit of Lundbeckfonden, one of the largest industrial foundations in Denmark with a market value of around USD 10 billion. In addition to the three subsidiaries, Lundbeck, ALK-Abelló and Falck, the Foundation manages a portfolio of more than 25 life science investments in Europe and the US and owns a portfolio of securities of more than USD 2 billion. For more information, please visit: www.lundbeckfonden.com.
About Seventure Partners
With €850m net commitments under management as of the end of 2020, Seventure Partners is a leading venture capital firm in Europe. Since 1997, Seventure Partners has been investing in innovative businesses with high growth potential in two fields: Life sciences across Europe, Israel, Asia and North America, and Digital technologies in France and Northern Europe. Seventure Partners successfully launched Health for Life Capital™ which invests in Life sciences (health, nutrition, digital/connected health…) with a core focus on the microbiome revolution and its applications in human health, nutrition and food. For more details: www.seventure.fr/en Twitter: @seventurep
About +ND Capital
+ND Capital (f.k.a. NanoDimension) is a venture capital firm founded in 2002 that invests in disruptive technologies across the life, physical, and data sciences. As scientific disciplines continue to converge, +ND Capital invest in some of the biggest breakthroughs based on this convergence. The firm invests across the United States and Europe, and through teams in Silicon Valley, Switzerland, helping its portfolio companies bridge the Atlantic to attract capital, talent, and business partners. The firm has over $500M under management and is currently investing its $335M third fund.
About Ysios Capital
Ysios Capital, a leading Spanish venture capital firm, provides private equity financing to early and mid-stage life science companies that develop disruptive therapeutic products and platform technologies. Founded in 2008, Ysios Capital manages over USD 420M through three dedicated funds in life sciences and is led by a team of professionals experienced in building biotech companies. For more information, please visit: www.ysioscapital.com. Twitter @YsiosCapital