No­vo-backed Galec­to Biotech scores €79 mil­lion in Se­ries C fund­ing

Galec­to Biotech has closed a €79 mil­lion Se­ries C fund­ing round that will help ad­vance the de­vel­op­ment of its lead galectin-3 in­hibitor for id­io­path­ic pul­monary fi­bro­sis (IPF).

Hans Scham­bye

The Copen­hagen-based com­pa­ny, which is de­vel­op­ing so-called galectin mod­u­la­tors for a pletho­ra of dis­eases in­clud­ing fi­bro­sis and can­cer, is the brain­child of two sci­en­tists from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Lund in Swe­den. The com­pa­ny, led by founder and CEO Hans Scham­bye, was orig­i­nal­ly fund­ed via the pre-seed grant pro­gram of the No­vo Nordisk $NVO Foun­da­tion in 2010. Even­tu­al­ly, the ear­ly-stage in­vest­ment arm of No­vo Nordisk Foun­da­tion owned No­vo Hold­ings — No­vo Seeds — led the first seed in­vest­ment round in 2011.

As part of this Se­ries C fund­ing round, No­vo Seeds has in­vest­ed €12.5 mil­lion, in­clud­ing a con­vert­ible loan, mak­ing it Galec­to’s largest share­hold­er. In ad­di­tion, the round of fi­nanc­ing was co-led by Ys­ios Cap­i­tal and Or­biMed, and in­clud­ed ex­ist­ing in­vestors M Ven­tures and Sun­stone Cap­i­tal. New in­vestors in­to the com­pa­ny in­clud­ed Bris­tol My­ers-Squibb $BMY, HBM Health­care In­vest­ments, Mav­er­ick Ven­tures and Sev­en­ture Part­ners.

The fi­nanc­ing will al­so en­able the clin­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tion of two ad­di­tion­al galectin mod­u­la­tors de­signed to treat fi­brot­ic dis­eases of oth­er or­gans, such as the liv­er and eye, Galec­to said. Galectin-3 is a pro­tein which binds to car­bo­hy­drate struc­tures, and plays a cen­tral role in fi­bro­sis. By in­hibit­ing the pro­tein’s bind­ing abil­i­ty, this class of drugs aim to treat dis­eases that ex­hib­it galentin-3 ex­pres­sion such as IPF, a chron­ic, pro­gres­sive lung dis­ease char­ac­ter­ized by the scar­ring of lung tis­sue.

If the Phase II/III study is suc­cess­ful, this da­ta could po­ten­tial­ly be used for a mar­ket­ing fil­ing, Scham­bye told End­points News, not­ing that the com­pa­ny’s mod­el in­cludes plans to ac­com­mo­date an ad­di­tion­al late-stage study if nec­es­sary. Galec­to is not dis­clos­ing its val­u­a­tion at the mo­ment, he said, adding that the com­pa­ny is not averse to part­ner­ships, M&A or an IPO in the fu­ture al­though it is equipped to take TD139 across the fin­ish line on its own.

In 2014, Bris­tol-My­ers signed an op­tion to li­cense Galec­to’s IPF drug TD139 fol­low­ing the re­sults of its Phase Ib/IIa da­ta, but did not ex­er­cise that op­tion.

Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos (via Getty Images)

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Pascal Soriot (AP Images)

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Jason Kelly, Ginkgo Bioworks CEO (Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Michelle Longmire, Medable CEO (Jeff Rumans)

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John Maraganore, Alnylam CEO (Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Bob Nelsen (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

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Peter Thiel (Riccardo Savi/Sipa via AP Images)

Tech bil­lion­aire Pe­ter Thiel backs a lead­ing psy­che­del­ic drug de­vel­op­er

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