Like Ablynx, the Brussels-Camel-IDS spin has carved a trail of antibodies to camels. It focused on brain metastasis due to breast cancer. His solution attracted 6 funds, including Gimv.
Biotech-based Biotech-withered IDS broke a record on Thursday by closing The largest ever raise in Belgium For a company at this stage of development. The spin-off of Vrije Universitit Brussel (VUB) was raised 37 million euros To a group of Belgian and foreign professional investors: Flemish funds Gimv and V-Bio VenturesSweden's Hilkap, Novi Seeds and Denmark contributed $ 6 million, while Switzerland's BioMedPartners were "happy" with $ 3 million. The balance was donated by existing shareholders of Camel-IDS. "It is also the second or third largest capital raising this year in Europe for a young company developing", Said Frank de Lanier, Gamb's communications director. To date, Camel-IDS has raised $ 5 million in involvement, capital and subsidies. The Young Association, founded in 2014 by researchers from VUB, quickly attracted the business angels and Innovenov, the Brussels Institute for Innovation Support, which gave it its first resources.
Camel's journey – IDS is no different from that of Ablynx, the Belgian biotech that seduced French giant Snoopy. As the latter, in fact, the spin-off has deployed its activity at first A study in VUB on antibodies of camels, From Llamas in the case of Ablynx, from camels to that of Camel-IDS. She is currently preparing for a Phase II / II clinical trial on the breast cancer treatment program. "If patients with breast cancer with overexpression of HER2, a protein that stimulates tumor growth, can already benefit from targeted and effective treatments today, Explains the company, However, their prognosis remains negative when cancer spreads to the brain. Its treatment consists of radiation of these lesions in the brain, saving the surrounding healthy tissue, thanks to its original technology platform, based on the distribution of antibodies of camel with radionuclide frequency.
"Among women with breast cancer, Note Frank de Leenheer, About 20% overexpress HER2. And about 50% of these will develop metastases to the brain, 10% of the total population. There are few treatments available that radiation can affect healthy tissues. This technology bypasses this obstacle. "
Work of two laboratories
"We wanted to create a network of international investors because the technology developed by Camel-IDS is very promising and can attract early attention.
"This development was possible thanks to the combination of the work of two laboratories, Says Ruth Devonis, director of the spin: the molecular imaging department of the VUB, which works on flammable antibodies, and the nuclear medicine division at UZ Brussel University Hospital, which was allowed to use radioactivity as a means of transmitting antibodies.
Why 37 million euros? "Because we have ambitious plans, Answers Ruth Devins, And that they are very expensive and technical projects. " The company has completed Phase Ia of its first program. If the tests and tests continue to improve, the process may lead to the marketing of the treatment by 2024 or 2025. But Camel-IDS already has other products in its pipeline, it also intends to bring maturity. he Plan to deal with other forms of cancer that are difficult to treat: Lungs, pancreas, uterus. What to work with his researchers for many years. It should be noted that the company, which currently employs about ten people, some of whom are part-time because they teach or work, will have to invest additional resources in the future.
The severity of her work and the scope of potential customers turned to the six investors. These were united by two of them, Gimv and V-Bio Ventures. Deliberately:We wanted to create a network of international investors because the technology developed by Camel-IDS is very promising and may attract early attention, Says Frank de Leenheer. According to the feeling, it is necessary to form a large network in the first place. The six investors are complementary and will have added value to the spin-off. " Each of them will receive a seat on its board of directors.
This is Gamba's fourth investment this year in the life sciences, medical technology and health, making it one of the most active investors in Europe in this field. Camel-IDS is also the 21st company to join its healthcare and health investment platform.
V-Bio Ventures, located in Ghent and affiliated with VIB, the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology, is the eighth acquisition of biotechnology.