07 June 2022

Cancer vaccine biotech CimCure raises € 5 million in seed round investment led by Positron Ventures


   CimCure, a biotech spin-off of Amsterdam UMC, focusing on the development of a novel vaccine-based cancer immunotherapy through its Immune-Boost (iBoost) technology, today announced that it has raised little over € 5 million in a financing Seed Round led by Dutch VC Positron Ventures. The round was supported by several investors with deep industry knowledge, including the investment vehicle of Tom Würdinger, professor at Amsterdam UMC. With the proceeds of this Seed Round CimCure will further advance the vaccine up until phase 1-2 clinical studies in humans. Dutch vaccine CDMO Intravacc will be CimCure’s partner for the development and production of the lead compound.

The vaccine-based immunotherapy developed by the team of Prof. Dr Griffioen at the Amsterdam UMC and licensed to CimCure, has shown high effectiveness and safety, both in murine animal models and in an efficacy study in client-owned dogs with spontaneous bladder cancer. Late May, some of the research results which underlie CimCure’s innovation were published in Nature Communications (Van Beijnum et al, 2022).

CimCure was founded in 2016 as a spin-off of Amsterdam UMC supported by Amsterdam UMC’s TTO Innovation Exchange Amsterdam and is led by Prof. dr. Arjan Griffioen, CSO, and Diederik Engbersen, CEO. Both have extensive experience in the biotech industry and started CimCure to commercialise a smart, effective and safe treatment strategy against all types of solid tumors at all stages, and can be combined with conventional and state-of-the-art anti-cancer strategies. 

Joseph Peeraer, founding partner of Positron said:

“We feel privileged to be able to invest in this promising iBoost technology and vaccine-based cancer immunotherapy, which might become a real game changer in the fight against cancer. This investment in CimCure exemplifies our thesis to invest at an early stage in outstanding scientists who would like to bring a potentially groundbreaking and impactful innovation to market.  Professor Griffioen’s invention may lead to a much less demanding, cheaper and more effective cancer treatment.”

Diederik Engbersen, CimCure’s CEO, said:

“We are pleased with this funding round led by Positron and supported by Tom Würdinger. Our first promising findings with murine animal models and client-owned dogs have recently been published in Nature Communications, bolstering our commitment to advance our technology and therapy towards clinical trials and cancer patients globally over the coming years.”

About CimCure’s vaccine-based immunotherapy

CimCure develops cancer vaccines through its proprietary Immune-Boost (iBoost) technology of targeted conjugate vaccines. The company has identified specific targets in the tumor vasculature. Eradication of tumor blood vessels and inhibition of their growth will lead to inhibition of cancer growth. This is an attractive approach for treatment of cancer.  However, past and current angiostatic drugs are known for rapid induction of drug resistance and loss of effectiveness, due to intervention in tumor-produced growth factors or their receptors. CimCure’s approach directly targets the tumor blood vessels, which efficiently attenuates tumor growth directly and does not induce resistance. An additional advantage of targeting blood vessels is that the barrier function of the tumor vasculature for leukocytes can be overcome (Huinen et al, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, 2021).


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