Nouscom Raises €67.5 million ($72 million) in Oversubscribed Series C Financing Round
New specialist European and US life sciences investors join existing investors to enable Nouscom to continue advancing the clinical development of its portfolio of neoantigen cancer vaccines to key clinical proof of concept endpoints
BASEL, Switzerland – 14th November 2023 – Nouscom, a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing off-the-shelf and personalized viral vector-based cancer vaccines targeting neoantigens, today announced the completion of its oversubscribed Series C equity financing raising €67.5 million ($72 million) from a syndicate of renowned international healthcare investors.
The Series C round was co-led by Andera Partners, Bpifrance (through its InnoBio 2 fund) and M Ventures, with participation from Revelation Partners, Indaco Venture Partners, Panakès Partners, XGen Ventures, and other undisclosed investors together with continued support from existing investors 5AM Ventures, EQT Life Sciences and Versant Ventures. Concurrent with the financing, representatives from Andera Partners, Bpifrance and M Ventures have joined the Nouscom Board of Directors.
The proceeds will be used to continue advancing and expanding Nouscom’s wholly owned clinical pipeline to achieve multiple clinical value catalysts, including:
- Readout from Nouscom’s ongoing randomized Phase 2 clinical trial for NOUS-209, an off-the-shelf vaccine targeting 209 shared neoantigens, in combination with pembrolizumab for the treatment of Mismatch Repair/Microsatellite Instable (dMMR/MSI) Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC).
- Final readout from the ongoing Phase 1b study and advancement of NOUS-209 monotherapy in Lynch Syndrome (LS) carriers investigating the potential to intercept, prevent or delay cancer before it occurs. LS carriers have a genetic predisposition to and consequently higher risk of developing certain cancers. Promising initial results from this study were reported in a Late-breaking Abstract at the recent Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2023 Annual Meeting – see press release here
- Completion of a Phase 1b study evaluating NOUS-PEV, a personalized cancer immunotherapy, in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor in patients with advanced melanoma and entry into randomized Phase 2 trials in indications with high unmet medical needs.
Dr. Marina Udier, Chief Executive Officer of Nouscom, said: “This oversubscribed financing, in what is a challenging environment for all biotech companies, is testament to the faith that new and existing investors place in Nouscom and our best-in-class technology. I am constantly inspired by the relentless drive our team exhibits on a daily basis to advancing our innovative medicines for the benefit of cancer patients. This financing will allow us to further accelerate development across our wholly owned clinical portfolio reporting multiple clinical trial readouts including from our ongoing randomized Phase 2 clinical trial with NOUS-209. These Phase 2 data, if positive, have the potential to position Nouscom’s neoantigen based cancer vaccines amongst the most thrilling developments in the field.”
Dr. Goran Ando, Independent Chairman of Nouscom, said: “In conjunction with the financing, I am delighted to welcome all our new investors to the company and Sofia, Thibaut and Hakan from Andera, Bpifrance and M Ventures, respectively, to our Board of Directors. Together, with the experience of our existing Board Members, I look forward to their contributions as Nouscom navigates the next exciting steps in its journey.”
Dr. Sofia Ioannidou, Partner of Andera Partners, said: “We at Andera are delighted to support Marina and her team in their mission to advance the development of their innovative cancer treatments for patients. We believe that the robustness of the clinical results generated so far positions Nouscom as one of the leading biotech companies in the vibrant neoantigen cancer vaccine space. We look forward to supporting the company towards the further clinical validation of its platform.”
Dr. Thibaut Roulon, Senior Investment Director at Bpifrance, said: “We consider Nouscom’s neoantigen cancer vaccine platform to be one of the most promising. It is backed by excellent science and increasingly promising clinical data. The next couple of years will be exciting as ongoing clinical trials complete and further validate its potential.”
Dr. Hakan Goker, Managing Director and Head of Biotechnology Investments at M Ventures, said: “A key criteria for our investment in Nouscom was the quality of the data that have been presented over the past few years, the breadth of its pipeline, and the expertise built in the team. The emerging data positions Nouscom’s pipeline among the most exciting in the field of neoantigen based cancer vaccines creating significant value for the company. We are excited to support the company to continue bringing these innovative candidates closer to patients.”
About Andera Partners
Created over 20 years ago, Andera Partners is a major player in private company investments in France and internationally. Its teams manage over €4 billion in investments in life sciences (Andera Life Sciences), growth and buyout capital (Andera MidCap, Andera Expansion/Croissance, Andera Co-Invest), sponsorless transactions (Andera Acto) and ecological transition (Andera Infra).
Andera Partners’ mission is to work alongside companies and their managers to support them in achieving strong and sustainable growth. The quality of performance offered to our investors relies on a strong partnership between the entrepreneurs in our portfolio companies and our teams, based on shared values. Performance through collective engagement, the “Power of And”, constitutes Andera Partners’ DNA. Based in Paris, with offices in Antwerp, Milan and Munich, Andera Partners is wholly owned by its teams, which count nearly 110 professionals, of which 67 investment professionals. It is structured as a partnership and managed by a board of 12 partners.
Andera’s 15-person life sciences team brings together extensive experience in the life sciences industry, private equity and venture capital. Active since 2000, the team has raised over €1.1 billion through its BioDiscovery family of funds and is currently investing from its new BioDiscovery 6 fund. Since inception, the BioDiscovery funds have invested in more than 75 European and U.S. biotech and medtech companies. For further information please visit: www.anderapartners.com
About Bpifrance and InnoBio 2
Bpifrance is the French national investment bank: it finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extra financial services (training, consultancy) to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export).
InnoBio 2 is an investment fund dedicated to life sciences, managed by Bpifrance, which is also one of the LPs alongside Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim, Takeda, Ipsen, Servier, BMS, European Fund of Investment and Pasteur Mutualité. InnoBio 2, with €203 million, aims to invest in companies developing innovative products and services, close to or in early clinical development, with the objective of bringing them to clinical proof of concept. InnoBio 2 takes minority equity stake in companies and can lead or co-lead the investment rounds. For more information, please visit: www.bpifrance.com
About M Ventures
M Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital fund of Merck, investing in Biotechnology and Technology. We cover the areas of Healthcare drug development, Life Science tools, Electronics and Frontier Technology & Sustainability.
We invest – with dual strategic and financial foci – into visionary companies that find new ways to: treat the most challenging diseases, empower scientists with cutting-edge research and development tools, develop new solutions that change the way in which information is accessed, stored, processed, and displayed and address some of the most complex challenges in sustainability and technology convergence.
We take an active role in our portfolio companies and team up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success.
Nouscom is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing next-generation, off-the-shelf and personalized cancer immunotherapies. Nouscom’s proprietary viral vector platform has the capacity to encode for large payloads of neoantigens or other immunomodulators and clinically demonstrated to safely and potently harness the power of the immune system.
Nouscom is currently advancing the clinical development of its wholly owned programs:
- NOUS-209, an off-the-shelf cancer immunotherapy for the treatment of MSI solid tumors in combination with pembrolizumab in randomized Phase 2 trials. In January 2023, Nouscom announced a clinical trial collaboration and pembrolizumab supply agreement with MSD (Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA).
- NOUS-209, an off-the-shelf monotherapy in Lynch Syndrome carriers with the potential to ‘intercept cancer’ before it occurs. A Phase 1b is being conducted under a clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement signed in 2022 with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and a randomized Phase 2 trial is expected to be initiated in 2024.
- NOUS-PEV, a personalized cancer immunotherapy, is expected to enter randomized Phase 2 trials in indications with high unmet medical need in 2024.
Nouscom has also exclusively out-licensed VAC-85135, an off-the-shelf immunotherapy developed under a multi-project agreement, which is currently under evaluation in a Phase 1 trial for the treatment of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms sponsored by Janssen Research & Development and Bristol Myers Squibb.
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