• Danish start-up developing immunotherapies designed to fight the tumors from within
• Financing supports GMP and tox studies and will advance Hervolution’s first-in-class cancer immunotherapy into First-in-Human clinical trials
• Strengthens team with appointment of industry heavyweights Dr. Sven Rohman as Chairman and Dr. Hamina Patel as CMO
Copenhagen, Denmark, 24 May 2023: Hervolution, an early-stage biotechnologycompany developing effective immunotherapies targeting the Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs), today announces that it has raised EUR 6M of Seed funding from private investors with the participation of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund. The financing will enable Hervolution to advance its lead drug candidate, IPT001, a first-in-class immunotherapy against solid tumors, into clinical development.
Incubated at the BioInnovation Institute (BII) and seeded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Hervolution was established to develop immunotherapies designed to overcome the limitations of cancer vaccines. Hervolution is targeting the human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) to treat cancer. HERVS are well recognized as tumor specific antigens, but until now, have been undruggable. Hervolution is targeting HERV tumor antigens with a powerful technology that stimulates both arms of the immune system, the humoral and the cellular response. The Company delivers the immunogen by using Adenoviral and RNA vectors.
Hervolution has generated robust pre-clinical, proof-of-concept data that demonstrate therapeutic potential for multiple oncology indications including pancreatic, ovarian, breast and prostate cancer. It plans to enter First-In-Human (FIH) trials in 2024.
To support its growth, Hervolution has appointed Dr Hamina Patel, MD, as Chief Medical Officer, and Dr Sven Rohmann, MD, PhD, MBA as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Jordi Naval, Chief Executive Officer of Hervolution said: “Hervolution is shifting the paradigm in cancer immunotherapy and is at an exciting phase of growth. Our aim is tounlock the full potential of immunotherapy in cancer. We believe Hervolution can solve the limitations of current cancer vaccines, as our pre-clinical data has shown that our immunotherapy induces higher tumor control, survival rate and tumor efficacy, compared toother competing approaches. I am very pleased to welcome Sven and Hamina to Hervolution. Their expertise and track record of success will be invaluable as we accelerate the development of our lead candidate into clinical development.”
Hermann Hauser, the EIC Fund Board member commented: “The EIC Fund has established itself as a strong force in EU deep-tech investments. This unique form of financing via EIC combining grants and equity – is proving itself highly attractive to Europe’s most promising start-ups.”
Dr Sven Rohmann, newly appointed Chairman added: “I am thrilled to have joined the Board of Directors of Hervolution at this time of company expansion. The Company is working on cutting-edge technology at the forefront of cancer immunotherapies and I look forward to taking this technology into clinics.”
Dr Patel has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with proven track record of leadership roles in clinical development, oncology and global commercialization, having previously held positions as Director of Drug Development, Oncology, at Johnson and Johnson, where she helped build a broad and differentiated portfolio of indications for the cancer drug VELCADE. Dr Rohmann is experienced in General Management and leadership and has a track record in raising funds for SMEs and public companies. He has extensive international experience in M&A, business and corporate development, clinical development, strategic marketing and portfolio management in small- and large-scale Venture Capital Financing at Merck, Novartis and MPM Bio IV NVS Strategic Fund.
The Seed round of EUR 6M includes private investors and a convertible loan from EICF. Hervolution is planning to raise an additional Series A to finance the pivot from preclinical to clinical development.
For further information, please contact:
Optimum Strategic Communications
Hollie Vile, Hana Malik, Eleanor Cooper
Tel: +44 20 3922 0891
Hervolution is a biotechnology company based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The vision of Hervolution is to lead the development of novel immunotherapies that target the Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs) as tumor-specific antigens. Hervolution will solve bottlenecks and unleash the full potential of immuno-oncology, not only in terms of cancer vaccines but also in further expanding the use of checkpoint inhibitors to multiple indications and patient populations.
To date, Hervolution has put in place a world-class scientific team and created an emerging product development pipeline, including a leading programme targeted to enter clinics in 2024.
Initial investors in Hervolution include the BioInnovation Institute (Novo Foundation), and Vaekstfonden (Denmark).
About the EIC Fund
The European Innovation Council Fund from the European Commission is an agnostic Fund: it invests across all technologies and verticals, and all EU countries and countries associated to Horizon Europe. It provides the investment component of the EIC Accelerator blended finance.
The EIC Fund aims to fill a critical financing gap and its main purpose is to support companies in the development and commercialisation of disruptive technologies, bridging with and crowding in market players, and further sharing risk by building a large network of capital providers and strategic partners suitable for co-investments and follow-on funding.
The Fund pays particular attention to the empowerment and support of female founders as well as the ambition to reduce the innovation divide among EU countries.