ExeVir Announces Close of US$50 million / EUR42 million Series A Financing
- Extends Series A with additional EUR19 million led by Fund+
- Unique llama-derived VHH72-Fc antibody (XVR011) for potential treatment and prevention of Covid-19, ready to start first-in-human trials
- XVR011 expected to be effective against SARS-Cov-2 and importantly its rapidly spreading variants and other Sarbecoviruses to emerge in the future
Belgium, March 16th, 2021: ExeVir, which is developing single domain antibody therapies providing broad protection against viral infections, today announces that it has closed its Series A financing raising a total of EUR 42 million / US$50 million. The financing was led by Fund+ with VIB, UCB Ventures, SFPI-FPIM, V-Bio Ventures and new investors SRIW, Noshaq, Vives IUF, SambrInvest, as well as several Belgian family offices.
ExeVir will use the financing to commence the global phase 1b/2 clinical trial of lead compound XVR011 that is scheduled to start shortly. The company also plans to develop a VHH72-Fc sub-cutaneous formulation for Covid-19 in parallel and accelerate development of its pipeline beyond Covid-19 in infectious diseases.
Torsten Mummenbrauer, CEO of ExeVir Bio, said: “With this funding we can commence the phase 1b/2 clinical study of our lead compound XVR011, designed as a registration trial targeting conditional or emergency approval, in this exceptional health care situation. Furthermore, it allows us to accelerate the formulation development and the initiation of manufacturing. We want to thank our investors for their outstanding support in this unique situation and want to affirm our commitment to the international effort against Covid-19, to support healthcare systems and offer global access to our new treatment.”
Philippe Monteyne, Partner at Fund+ and current Chairman of the Board of Exevir, added: “In only 9 months from set up, ExeVir has made fantastic progress in the development of lead compound XVR011 which is now ready to move into clinical development. We are proud that Belgium is at the forefront of international efforts in cutting-edge research, innovation and science. Across the country, the highly developed life sciences industry and deep pool of capital, is enabling Exevir to accelerate development of its promising, potentially life-saving treatment for patients worldwide.”
The single domain antibody (VHH) technology platform was developed by VIB-UGent scientists, Professors Xavier Saelens and Nico Callewaert. Based on the recent research published in BioRxiv by the VIB scientists on the XVR011 antibody, which demonstrated highly potent and broad neutralizing activity and infection protection against SARS-Cov-2, variants of concern and related coronaviruses, the XVR011 antibody is expected to be effective against SARS-Cov-2 and importantly, its rapidly spreading variants and other Sarbecoviruses to emerge in future.
Caroline Thielen, Investment Manager at SRIW will join the Board of ExeVir Bio alongside Torsten Mummenbrauer, CEO of ExeVir Bio, Philippe Monteyne, Partner at Fund+, Erica Whittaker, Head of UCB Ventures, Jérôme Van Biervliet, Managing Director at VIB, Stef Heylen representing SFPI-FPIM, Professor Michel Kazatchkine as independent director and Katja Rosenkranz, Partner at V-Bio Ventures (observer), Joel Henneghien at Vives IUF (observer) and Louis Declerck at Fund+ (observer).
Speaking on behalf of the Walloon public players (SRIW, Noshaq and SambrInvest), Caroline Thielen, Investment Manager at SRIW, said: “We are very excited to invest in an innovative project with such a high societal impact. We are convinced that ExeVir will benefit from our regional ecosystem to boost its growth.”
For more information contact:
Fiona du Monceau, COO
Optimum Strategic Communications
Mary Clark, Shabnam Bashir, Elakiya Rangarajah
Tel: +44 (0) 203 174 1789
About ExeVir Bio
ExeVir Bio is harnessing its VHH technology platform to generate robust antiviral therapies providing broad protection against viral infections, including coronaviruses. It is a spin out from VIB, the world class Belgium-based life sciences research institute, based on the work of Professor Drs Xavier Saelens and Nico Callewaert from VIB in collaboration. ExeVir Bio is led by a team of experts that combines international biotech and pharma experience with a successful track record of developing and bringing products to market. It has raised over €42M from blue chip investors led by Fund+, VIB, UCB Ventures, SFPI-FPIM, V-Bio Ventures, SRIW, Noshaq, Vives IUF, SambrInvest and several Belgian Family Offices. www.exevir.com.
About SRIW Life Sciences
By relying on the traditional strengths of Wallonia, including excellence in research and entrepreneurial creativity, SRIW Life Sciences contributes to the development of a truly dynamic and fertile ecosystem that generates jobs, creates value and is attractive to foreign investors. From clinical development to market access, SRIW Life Sciences encourages and supports entrepreneurial initiatives capable of converting scientific innovation into products that meet medical needs. SRIW Life Sciences also supports the growth of more mature activities which already generate recurring income. The role of SRIW (Société Régionale d’Investissement de Wallonie) as a risk capital provider in the life sciences sector is crucial, considering its capital-intensive nature and the high degree of risk associated. More information: http://www.sriw.be
Noshaq (formerly Meusinvest) is the reference financial partner for the set-up and development of SME’s in the Region of Liège. Over the years, Noshaq has developed a range of financing vehicles in line with market needs and trends and with its strategy (For example: Spinventure for the spin-offs of the University of Liège, LeanSquare for the ‘new economy’ start-ups, Epimede, a private growth fund, active in Belgium and beyond). Each service offered by Noshaq (capital-loan-leasing) is always determined according to the demand and needs of the owner-investor. The objective is always to have a leverage effect on the company’s development. www.noshaq.be/en/
About Vives IUF
Put in place in July 2020, VIVES Inter-University Fund is a multi-sector technology fund which invests in projects with a positive societal impact. It takes the baton from Vives and Vives II, created by UCLouvain in 2023 and 2011, and enabled the realisation of 27 investments and raised about €650M. Key participations included: iTeos (on the Nasdaq with a market cap of 1.500 M$), Novadip, Tessares, Axinesis, Botalys, Upstreem, Virovet, E-Peas, Aphea, Syndesi, SmartNodes, etc.
VIVES Inter-University Fund is the 3rd fund managed by Sopartec, the technology transfer and investment company of l’UCLouvain. The first funding close of 32M with a final objective of 50M€. Principaux investors are Belfin, BNPP Fortis Private Equity, IMBC Spinnova, ING Belgique, Investsud, Namur Invest, Invest BW (Nivelinvest), finance&invest.brussels (SRIB), Sambrinvest, Securex, SFPI-FPIM as well as Sopartec and its management team. VIVES IUF supports spin-offs of UCLouvain or its university partners – KULeuven (BE), Université de Paris (FR), Université de Wageningen (NL), Université du Luxembourg (LU) – and start-ups located within 400km around Louvain-la-Neuve) https://www.vivesfund.com/fr
With 35 years of experience alongside entrepreneurs, more than 270 companies in portfolio and €160M under management, Sambrinvest is a major player in venture capital in the region of Charleroi Métropole, Wallonia, Belgium. More than an investor, Sambrinvest is the catalyst for local ecosystems development, such as Biotech, Digital and Engineering. Thanks to its expertise, it advises entrepreneurs at every development stage of their projects whilst respecting their management autonomy. www.sambrinvest.be
Fund+ is a Belgian venture capital firm that invests in innovative European Life Sciences companies developing drugs, medical devices and diagnostics, with a strong focus on patient-centric approaches and major unmet medical needs. With over €200M in assets under management, Fund+ has built a strong track record since 2015, investing in 16 portfolio companies with two major exits. The fund is managed by a specialist team of seasoned life sciences professionals with healthcare industry, corporate finance and strategy consulting experience, supporting companies throughout their growth cycle. The company aims to maintain a leading position in the Life Sciences sector, creating sustainable value for its shareholders and a tangible impact on society. www.fundplus.be
VIB is an entrepreneurial non-profit research institute, with a clear focus on ground breaking strategic basic research in life sciences and operates in close partnership with the five universities in Flanders – Ghent University, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Hasselt University.
VIB scientists study the molecular mechanisms that regulate the functions of the human body, plants and microorganisms. Such mechanistic research leads to innovative insights into the normal and abnormal/pathological life processes, with the potential to use these insights to develop novel therapeutics, diagnostics, agricultural applications and technologies. Thanks to the hard work of many people over a period of almost 25 years and the support of a sustained investment by the government of Flanders, VIB is widely recognized as an established and world-leading knowledge center in life sciences and biotechnology with an excellent reputation in technology transfer. The unique combination of strategic basic research and a clear focus on innovation & business is one of the major contributors to its success. VIB is highly committed to being the driving force behind the growth of the dynamic life sciences cluster in Flanders. www.vib.be
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8000 people operating in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of € 5.3 billion in 2020. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). Follow us on Twitter: @UCB_news
About UCB Ventures
UCB Ventures is a €150 million strategic corporate venture fund established in 2017 to further strengthen UCB’s ability to create value from novel insights and technologies that can transform the lives of patients suffering from severe diseases. UCB Ventures invests in innovative therapeutics and technology platforms that are early stage and higher risk, in areas adjacent to or even beyond UCB’s therapeutic focus on neurology/neurodegenerative diseases, immunology and muscular skeletal/bone health. UCB Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies, contributing expertise in drug discovery, development and operations. Visit www.UCBVentures.com
The Belgian Federal Holding and Investment company (Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement /Federale Participatie- en Investeringsmaatschappij; SFPI/FPIM), created on November 1th, 2006, is the sovereign wealth fund of Belgium, driving long-term and sustainable economic and social prosperity. SFPI/FPIM, with the Belgian Government as its sole shareholder, acts as a trusted partner in helping Belgian companies to become a reference in their industry by providing smart capital solutions. In addition, SFPI/FPIM safeguards the long-term stability of the Belgian economy by contributing to the anchoring of strategic assets in both promising and established companies. SFPI/FPIM has about 14 bln EUR in assets under management for the Federal State. http://www.sfpi-fpim.be/en
About V-Bio Ventures
V-Bio Ventures (www.v-bio.ventures) is an independent venture capital firm specialized in building and financing young, innovative life science companies. V-Bio Ventures was established in 2015 and works closely with Belgium-based VIB, one of the world’s premier life science institutes. The fund invests throughout Europe in start-up and early-stage companies with high growth potential focusing on technologies that provide transformational improvements in the biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and agricultural sectors. https://v-bio.ventures/