- Jeito Capital co-leads oversubscribed EUR 50 million Series C financing with Brandon Capital
- CatalYm is developing a new class of anti-cancer immunotherapies, which have already demonstrated initial promising clinical results in advanced-stage solid tumor patients
- Jeito Capital strengthens its strong and diversified portfolio with first German investment
Paris, France, November 22nd 2022 – Jeito Capital (“Jeito”), a leading independent international private equity firm dedicated to healthcare and biopharma, announced today that it has co-led a EUR 50 million Series C financing round in CatalYm, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel immunotherapies to fight cancer. The oversubscribed financing was co-led by Brandon Capital with participation from existing investors Forbion, Novartis Venture Fund, Vesalius Biocapital III, Bayern Kapital, BioGeneration Ventures, and Coparion. CatalYm was founded in 2016 as a spin-off from Würzburg University and is based in Munich (Germany).
CatalYm’s lead candidate, visugromab is a humanized monoclonal antibody engineered to neutralize the tumor-produced Growth Differentiation Factor-15 (GDF-15). It is currently in Phase 2 clinical studies in patients with solid tumors that are relapsed/refractory to prior anti-PD1/-PD-L1 treatment. GDF-15 acts as a key regulator of immune cell activation and as an inhibitor of immune cell infiltration into the tumor tissue.
Proceeds from the financing will primarily be used to expand the Phase 2 clinical development program of visugromab. This expansion is based on convincing efficacy and durability results in advanced, last-line patients in Phase 1 and continued positive clinical responses in the ongoing GDFATHER-2 trial (GDF-15 Antibody-mediaTed Human Effector cell Relocation Phase 2). The expanded Phase 2 clinical studies will enroll patients at clinical centers in Europe and the United States.
Jeito selected CatalYm in line with its investment strategy to support the development of the most promising European Biopharma with growth and acceleration potential. Dr. Andreas Wallnoefer, Partner at Jeito Capital will join CatalYm’s Board of Directors.
Throughout 2022, Jeito has continued to build a portfolio of innovative companies across diverse therapeutic areas and across stages of development with the strong potential to improve the lives of patients. With CatalYm, Jeito makes its first investment in Germany, which has a very dynamic and internationally recognized biopharma ecosystem. Jeito closed its Jeito I fund at €534 million in September 2021 and has to date invested in high-quality biopharma companies with the potential to become market leaders in France, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
Dr Rafaèle Tordjman, MD, PhD, Founder and CEO of Jeito, commented: “We are thrilled to co-lead this new round of financing in CatalYm to further accelerate its clinical development and support its world leading research for the benefit of severely ill patients with no satisfying therapeutic solution. Jeito is committed to supporting and accelerating the development of the most promising European biopharma companies. CatalYm has the potential of growth and acceleration for patients, which is a core value for Jeito. Jeito selected this clinical stage company that has a promising new therapy approach to treat cancer, which has already demonstrated the first clinical signs of activity for severe relapsed patients. We look forward to working with the experienced CatalYm team.”
Dr. Andreas Wallnoefer, Partner at Jeito, added: “Visugromab has shown promising results in enhancing the immune response to fight cancer in its first clinical trials, resulting in several impressive responses in patients with advanced tumors and last line treatments. The drug has great potential to improve patients’ lives and become part of cancer immune therapy regimens given its important efficacy profile and good tolerability.”
Dr. Phil L’Huillier, Chief Executive Officer at CatalYm, concluded: “The success of our Series C financing, based on strong clinical data, is a further validation that visugromab is emerging as a new anti-cancer immunotherapeutic drug with the potential to transform the immuno-oncology landscape. We deeply value the commitment of our new and existing investors, which will enable further clinical development moving our lead program towards pivotal studies.”
About Jeito Capital
Jeito Capital is a global leading investment company with a patient benefit driven approach that finances and accelerates the development and growth of ground-breaking medical innovation. Jeito empowers and supports entrepreneurs through its expert, integrated, multi-talented team and through the investment of significant capital to ensure the growth of companies, building market leaders in their respective therapeutic areas with accelerated patients’ access globally, especially in Europe and the United States. Jeito Capital has €534 million under management and a rapidly growing portfolio of investments. Jeito Capital is based in Paris with a presence in Europe and the United States.
CatalYm has identified GDF-15 as a central regulator of the immune system in the tumor microenvironment. We are pioneering the reversal of GDF-15-mediated immunosuppression to induce a potent antitumoral immune reaction in non-responsive tumors. CatalYm’s lead program visugromab is poised to demonstrate clinical proof-of-concept in multiple solid tumor indications which will expand the treatment horizon for current and future immunotherapies.
About visugromab (CTL-002)
Visugromab, formerly known as CTL-002, is a humanized, monoclonal antibody designed to neutralize the tumor-produced Growth Differentiation Factor-15 (GDF-15). GDF-15 secretion by the tumor has been shown to prevent T cell migration into the tumor and suppresses T cell function and the adaptive immune response in the tumor microenvironment. This enables the tumor to evade the immune system and become resistant to standard of care and current immunotherapy approaches such as checkpoint inhibitors. Visugromab counteracts these immuno-suppressive mechanisms by neutralizing GDF-15, enhancing the infiltration of immune cells into the tumor, improving both priming of T cells by dendritic cells and tumor killing by T cells and NK cells.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Phil L’Huillier, CEO