Austrian f-star nets EUR 15m
Vienna - f-star, an antibody specialist, today announced the closing of aEUR 15 Million financing. The investment was led by SR One, the corporate venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline. All of f-star’s existing investors, Atlas Venture, Aescap Venture, Novo Ventures, TVM Capital, Merck Serono Ventures and MP Healthcare Venture Management, also participated in the round. As a result of the financing, SR One Partner Dr Deborah Harland and Dr Axel Polack of TVM Capital will join f-star’s Supervisory Board.
“f-star has shown that its Modular Antibody Technology platform can generate multiple high affinity biotherapeutics against targets of varying precedence and novelty in both single- and bi-specific formats”, Harland said. “We believe the platform has the potential to generate numerous novel differentiated biologics with advanced efficacy, tissue penetration and
targeting capabilities compared to traditional antibodies.”
The financing will primarily be used for the further development of existing product candidates through IND enabling studies and thereafter into clinical stage. With its proprietary technology, f-star produces antibody fragments called Fcabs, which have full antibody capabilities but are believed to have a better biological profile because of their small size. Additionally Fcabs may offer IP advantages in many cases by lacking variable regions, which may be claimed by third party antibody patents. This seems to attract pharma companies. In November 2010, f-star clinched an alliance with Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim which could deliver up to one billion euros in the companies' cash vaults.