ITEOS THERAPEUTICS SA SECURED €9 MILLION FOR PRECLINICAL DRUG DEVELOPMENT
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ITEOS THERAPEUTICS SA SECURED €9 MILLION FOR PRECLINICAL DRUG DEVELOPMENT

iTeos Therapeutics SA, a drug discovery company focused on the development of immunomodulators for cancer therapy, today announced the successful closing of its Series A equity financing round.

iTeos, a joint spin-off of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) and the de Duve Institute at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), raised €3.0 million from LICR, Hunza Ventures SCA, Life Sciences Research Partners, VIVES Louvain Technology Fund and several business angels. This financing complements a €6 million non-dilutive grant from the Belgian Walloon Government, which was received in December 2011.

Cancer immunotherapy has gained momentum in the two last years because of the clinical success of new immunotherapeutic treatments. Immunotherapy can harness the immune system to selectively destroy tumors and limit the risk of recurrences, with very limited side effects. However, the success of cancer immunotherapy has been limited by the ability of tumors to block the immune response, something known as immunosuppression. Scientists are now working to better understand the mechanisms responsible for immunosuppression, in order to devise strategies to overcome them.

This is what iTeos’ research program strives to do: develop small-molecule immunomodulators that can increase the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy, as well as leverage the spontaneous anti-tumor immune response.

“We believe that the efficacy of most cancer therapies — not only immunotherapy — will be greatly enhanced by the control of tumor immunosuppressive mechanisms,” said Benoît Van den Eynde, Brussels Branch Director at LICR, UCL Professor and co-founder of iTeos. “Our first strategy will aim to combine existing vaccines with new immunomodulators based on technology that was licensed from LICR. Thereafter we will explore combinations with other cancer therapies,” added Van den Eynde.

“iTeos brings together the world-class expertise of LICR in immunotherapy and tumor immunology with a team of drug discovery experts to develop innovative treatments against severe diseases such as lung, pancreatic and liver cancers,” said iTeos co-founder and CEO Michel Detheux. “With substantial funding now in place, iTeos is well-positioned to execute its ambitious strategy over the next several years by accelerating the clinical development of its flagship program, as well as two additional preclinical programs,” added Detheux.

“Moving early-stage research advances from LICR scientists into later-stage clinical testing for the benefit of patients is a priority for the Institute,” said Jonathan Skipper, Executive Director of Technology Development at LICR. “iTeos will have access to LICR’s expertise and infrastructure so that candidate therapeutics can be rapidly tested,” added Skipper.

“We are very proud to establish a joint spin-off company between two prestigious institutes — LICR and the de Duve Institute at UCL. iTeos combines a solid pipeline with the expertise to develop a new discovery platform in immunomodulation," concluded Philippe Durieux, CEO of SOPARTEC and managing director of VIVES Louvain Technology Fund.

The iTeos Board is comprised of industrial, scientific and financial experts, including Philippe Guinot as independent Chairman, Natacha Beaumont (Managing Director, Hunza Ventures), Chris Buyse (CFO, ThromboGenics), Philippe Durieux (VIVES) and Jonathan Skipper (Executive Director of Technology Development, LICR).

The Scientific Committee comprises Jean-Yves Bonnefoy (VP R&D, Transgene), Pierre Coulie (UCL) and Douglas Fearon (Cambridge University).

Eubelius was the legal advisor of the company in this transaction.

All parties involved decided not to disclose any further financial information regarding this transaction.

For more information, please visit www.iteostherapeutics.com or contact Michel Detheux at +32478034600, or by email at michel.detheux@iteostherapeutics.com.

About iTeos Therapeutics SA

Based in Gosselies, Belgium, iTeos Therapeutics SA is a private biotechnology company with a focus on developing small-molecule immunomodulators for cancer treatment. Originating from a partnership between the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and de Duve Institute at the Université catholique de Louvain, iTeos Therapeutics SA is led by management and research teams with proven track records in tumor immunology, immunotherapy, drug discovery and development.

About Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR)

LICR is an international non-profit organization committed to improving the understanding and control of cancer through integrated laboratory and clinical discovery. Leveraging its worldwide network of investigators and the ability to sponsor and conduct its own clinical trials, the Institute is actively engaged in translating its discoveries into applications for patient benefit. Since its establishment in 1971, the Institute has expended more than $1.5 billion on cancer research. For more information, please visit www.licr.org.

About Life Sciences Research Partners

Life Sciences Research Partners (formerly called D Collen Research Foundation) was founded by Emeritus Professor Désiré Collen in 1988. The purpose of Life Sciences Research Partners is, without any profit-making intentions, to carry out, promote and support scientific research in general and biomedical and biotechnological research in particular. The specific activities by which the purposes of the association will be realized are among others the awarding of research grants, research mandates and traveling scholarships, the organization of scientific congresses and symposia, financial support of publications, and any other related activities that support or help to propagate the advancement of science. In addition, the association may conduct any other activity, that contributes directly or indirectly to its non-profit purpose, including commercial and profitable activities within legal boundaries, on condition that the profit thereof be exclusively spent on the non-profit purposes of the association. For more information, please visit www.lsrp.be.

About VIVES-Louvain Technology Fund

VIVES-Louvain Technology Fund is a multi-sectorial technology investment fund that invests in spin-offs ofUniversité catholique de Louvain (UCL) as well as start-ups in Belgium and neighboring countries. The objective of the fund is to invest in the development of start-ups, from technological validation through to commercial maturity. The funds (VIVES 1 of EUR 15 mio and VIVES 2 of EUR 43mio) are managed by SOPARTEC, the technology transfer company of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). Through Louvain Technology Transfer Office (LTTO), SOPARTEC and the University´s Research Administration (ADRE) are in charge of the overall technology transfer process. This covers the financing of research contracts, the identification of inventions within the laboratories, the protection and management of intellectual property,the technological maturation and the commercialization (through licensing and/or spin-off). More specifically, SOPARTEC coordinates the management of licensing agreements and the technological maturation of UCL spin-offs. More than 50 spin-offs, which today generate more than 3,000 jobs, have been created in whole or part from the results of research conducted at the UCL. These include Ion Beam Application (IBA), I.R.I.S. Group, IbT, Telemis, Alterface, Cissoid, Viridaxis, Promethera, Greenwatt, etc. For more information, please visit http://www.vivesfund.com.

About Hunza Ventures SCA

Hunza Ventures is a venture capital firm dedicated to the life sciences and information technology currently managing in excess of €20 million. Founded in 1998, Hunza Ventures has built a balanced portfolio of companies developing novel approaches and best-in-class products. With its strong sector expertise and through its multidisciplinary team and entrepreneurial approach, the fund prides itself in truly partnering with its portfolio companies. For more information, please visit www.hunza-ventures.com.

About UCL

Founded in 1425, one of Europe’s oldest universities, UCL has 27,289 students on six sites (Louvain-la-Neuve, Bruxelles (Woluwe and Saint-Gilles), Mons, Tournai, Charleroi). UCL educates almost one in every two French-speaking Belgians, and attracts every year 4,000 international students from around the globe (a number of programmes are given in English). UCL trains students in all disciplines, from beginner’s level through doctorate level and on to adult continuing education. Teaching is based on solid research and innovation. UCL is also one of the 22 European Universities to have received the ECTS label, a European Union recognition of the quality of its management of international exchanges. In the latest QS World University Rankings (2011), UCL was located at the 125e position, which makes it the first French speaking university of Belgium. For more information, please visit www.uclouvain.be.

About de Duve Institute

Founded in 1974 by Nobel Prize Laureate Christian de Duve, the de Duve Institute is a renowned multidisciplinary biomedical research institute located on the Brussels campus of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), next to the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc. It hosts several laboratories of the Faculty of Medicine of UCL, as well as the Brussels Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Research priorities at the de Duve Institute are based on three principles: (i) priority to fundamental research and to the freedom of the investigators, (ii) special attention to medical benefits potentially resulting from fundamental discoveries (iii) multidisciplinary collaboration within a critical mass of competences. For more information, please visit www.deduveinstitute.be.

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