Official launch of Immagene: Dutch company developing next-generation immuno-oncology therapeutics

 

Immagene B.V. launched this month as a private biotech company developing next-generation precision immuno-oncology (IO) treatments. The company based in Amsterdam announced its launch following a successful fundraise from Oncode Bridge Fund, Swanbridge Capital, and Innovatiefonds Noord Holland. Immagene is a spin-off of the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and Oncode Institute.

The company is actively building a pipeline of highly promising first-in-class IO therapies identified through an innovative screening strategy developed by founders Oncode Investigator Dr. Daniel Peeper, Dr. Christian Blank, and Dr. Maarten Ligtenberg (Chief Executive Officer) at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and Oncode Institute. In addition, the company also announced that it has entered into a research collaboration with the NKI, and in-licensed undisclosed programs from Oncode Institute.

 

From laboratory discovery to cancer benefit
Since the approval of the immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) ipilimumab, immunotherapy has been a game changer in cancer treatment. However, resistance mechanisms to current ICIs are common, thereby limiting clinical benefit for most cancer patients. The development of novel ICIs has yet to address this issue. A deeper understanding of the biology of ICI resistance is imperative to derive the next generation of IO therapeutics.

 

Dr. Maarten Ligtenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Immagene, said:
“We are delighted to welcome our investors into the company and are excited to enter the IO space to develop first in class therapeutics to overcome resistance and fully unleash the antitumor activity of patients’ immune system.”

 

On behalf of the investors, Nicky Rijk-Vogels, Fund Manager at Swanbridge Capital said: “Immagene represents a unique opportunity in novel IO therapeutics space. We look forward to working together with the investor syndicate and the company in bringing next-generation medicines to cancer patients.”