Oss, The Netherlands, July 3, 2019 —hannounced today the first closing of a targeted € 15 million investment round, funded by ModiQuest B.V., BOM Brabant Ventures, BrightGene, and Curie Capital. The proceeds will be used to progress the pre-clinical and clinical development of Citryll’s tACPA antibodies, inhibitors of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) and their formation (NETosis). tACPA interferes with the formation, function and clearance of NETs, but downstream of the peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) dependant citrullination pathway. It does so by binding to N-terminal citrullinated epitopes in histones that are essential for NET formation.
“We believe that drugs that interfere with NETs and their production have the potential to create game changing new treatments to prevent or treat human diseases. tACPA targets autoimmune and other diseases such as lupus, vasculitis, pulmonary fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and organ damage due to sepsis. Citryll’s approach does not broadly target inflammation or acquired immunity, instead it extinguishes the source of autoantigens and (NET)-derived toxic molecules in the safest way currently possible”, says CEO Helmuth van Es.
“We welcome the investment by this investor syndicate from the Netherlands and China, which will allow the development of Citryll’s antibody therapeutic for patients with significant medical needs”, says ModiQuest CEO, co-inventor of tACPA, Jos Raats.
“We are excited to be able to invest in Citryll as the company is an excellent example of a first in class therapeutic innovation that can have a strong impact on patients’ lives. An increasing amount of scientific data shows that NET formation plays a crucial role across various disease types, therefore we look forward to support the further development of tACPA”, says BOM Brabant Ventures Investment Manager Sjoerd van Gorp, speaking for the investor syndicate.
About Citryll B.V.
Citryll is a private pharmaceutical company based in Oss, the Netherlands that is dedicated to the development and commercialization of therapeutics that target NETosis and NETs. Citryll was founded by ModiQuest B.V., originator of the tACPA patents, Helmuth van Es, CEO Citryll, and Renato Chirivi, CSO Citryll and co-inventor of tACPA.
Contact: Helmuth van Es +33 621684888
About ModiQuest B.V.
ModiQuest B.V. was founded by Jos Raats, Ger Pruijn, and Walther van Venrooij in 2004, and discovers and develops innovative therapeutic and diagnostic antibodies in cancer and autoimmune diseases. Jos Raats is co-inventor of the highly sensitive, gold standard, early diagnostic test for RA (anti-CCP test), the Plexin patents and the tACPA patents, and an experienced antibody scientist and entrepreneur.
About BOM Brabant Ventures
BOM (the Brabant Development Agency) works together with businesses to create a strong, sustainable, and future-proof Brabant economy. BOM uses the Brabant Ventures label to focus, using knowledge and capital, on the accelerated and future-proof growth of ambitious Brabant startups and scaleups in the High-Tech Systems and Software, Agri-food, Life Sciences & Health, Maintenance, Supply Chain, and Bio-based Economy top industries.
About BrightGene INTERNATIONAL (HK) LIMITED
BrightGene INTERNATIONAL (Hong Kong) LIMITED is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BrightGene Bio-medical technology Co.,Ltd.,Sequoia Capital China and HighLight Capital are the company’s lead investors. BrightGene’s pipeline includes oral glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP1R) agonist peptides for Type II diabetes, immuno-oncology agents, antibody-drug conjugates and other tumor-targeting drug conjugates for brain cancer. The company also manufactures APIs and finished dosage forms of specialty generic drugs. Advised by China-based venture capital fund Laurel Venture BrightGene invests in therapeutics and innovations at different stages of development including biologics and with an emphasis on medical needs in China.
About Curie Capital
Curie Capital is a life science focused venture capital firm founded in 2018. It is a new and dynamic investment fund with a personal touch. Curie Capital is based in Amsterdam and invests in early stage companies with talented teams and exciting science and technology. The founding partners Mariette van der Velden and Han de Groot both have extensive experience in investing, entrepreneurship and managing companies across the full life cycle from startup to (public) exit.
About Laurel Venture Capital
Laurel Venture is a life science-focused venture capital firm investing in early and mid-stage therapeutic assets in China, Europe and the United States. Laurel’ s team of investors and entrepreneurs share a passion for the transformative power of technology to fulfil the unmet medical need, and to fund companies that can deliver breakthrough medical advances with cutting-edge technology and strong IP profiles.