November 24th, 2020, Utrecht, the Netherlands
TargED Biopharmaceuticals, a biotech spin-off of the University Medical Center Utrecht founded by Associate prof. Coen Maas, PhD, Steven de Maat, PhD, Marc van Moorsel and Kristof Vercruysse, raised EUR 1.35 million to develop a unique biotechnological drug for rapid degradation of blood clots that obstruct the vasculature. The funds include a seed investment from FIRST fund, Curie Capital and Utrecht Health Seed Fund as well as a public-private-partnership with UMC Utrecht, supported by additional funding from Health Holland.
Every year, approximately 1.3 million Europeans and 800.000 US citizens have a first stroke. Stroke is the second most common cause of death and a major cause of disability in developed economies. The majority of stroke events are caused by an occlusion of a blood vessel (thrombosis). TargED’s Microlyse, a new proprietary clot-busting compound, binds to a protein that is present in all forms of thrombosis, ranging from those that obstruct the largest vessels to the smallest vessels in the body (microvasculature). Due to its unique mechanism of action, Microlyse can stimulate a natural pathway that dissolves these blood clots. This therapeutic approach can be used to rapidly eliminate occlusive blood clots and has the potential to outperform current stroke care therapeutics. Next to acute ischemic stroke, thrombosis is seen in a wide range of cardiovascular conditions for which TargED expects that Microlyse is also applicable, such as the life-threatening disease TTP (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura).
Kristof Vercruysse, interim CEO of TargED said: “The first results of Microlyse based on the work of Coen Maas and Steven de Maat underscore the potential of Microlyse to break down blood clots in various diseases. We appreciate the support from our investors to realize next development steps, and I am honored to be part of a company that has the potential to positively impact millions of lives by enabling patient access to these lifesaving treatments.”
Bart van der Worp, MD PhD, Neurologist specialized in cerebrovascular diseases at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, stated: “Given its mode of action, Microlyse has the potential not only to improve the chance of recanalization of an occluded artery as compared to intravenous thrombolysis using currently available drugs, but also to reduce the risk of intracranial bleeding, the most feared complication of thrombolysis. Greater efficacy and an improved safety profile could lead to better outcomes for thousands of patients worldwide. To assess the potential benefit of Microlyse, further preclinical and clinical research is needed.”
Rianne Ellenbroek, PhD, Investment Manager of FIRST commented: “We are very excited to support the TargED team on their journey to further develop the strong scientific work Coen Maas and Steven de Maat have established with support of the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance (DCVA). Microlyse is a therapeutic innovation that has a strong potential to lower the burden of cardiovascular diseases related to thrombotic events.”
Fonds InvesteringsRijpe STarters (FIRST) is a pre-seed fund that finances pioneering scientists in The Netherlands active in the emerging fields of regenerative medicine and cardiovascular diseases. FIRST is founded by the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance (DCVA) and Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders (RegMed XB) with support of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) supports the FIRST fund as registered fund manager, making available its network, expertise, and facilities.
For more information, please visit www.biogenerationventures.com/first.
About Curie Capital
Curie Capital is a private life-science seed fund, based in Amsterdam, investing in early stage Dutch companies with skilled teams and promising medical products in healthcare, together with other VCs. Curie Capital is managed by the two partners, Mariette van der Velden and Han de Groot who both have extensive experience in investing, entrepreneurship and in creating value for companies. Curie Capital invests with the aim to make a positive impact on patients and healthcare.
For more information, please visit https://www.curiecapital.nl
About Utrecht Health Seed Fund
Utrecht Health Seed Fund (UHSF) is an early stage life sciences & health investment fund based out of Utrecht, The Netherlands, focused on scalable technologies in the field of Life Sciences (therapeutics and diagnostics), Medical Devices, Digital Health, and Animal Health in the earliest stages of development. UHSF is established by Utrecht Holdings with the assistance and support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), UMC Utrecht, and the University of Utrecht.
For more information, please visit www.uhsf.nl.
Marc van Moorsel