– Oversubscribed seed round supports the development of impactful medicines targeting activated fibroblast populations in inflammatory disease and cancer
Cambridge, UK, 3 August 2021 – Mestag Therapeutics (“Mestag”), a breakthrough inflammatory disease and immuno-oncology company, today announced the closing of its oversubscribed Seed extension, bringing the total Seed round to $45 million. This extension of $34 million was led by Amsterdam-based investment firm Forbion together with global healthcare investors GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Northpond Ventures and supported by founding investors SV Health Investors, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.. In connection with the extended financing, Juliette Audet (Forbion), Issi Rozen (GV) and Shaan C. Gandhi (Northpond Ventures) will join the Mestag Board.
Proceeds from this financing allows Mestag to further its mission of developing impactful new medicines for patients by targeting activated fibroblast populations and interrupting their role in influencing immune effector cells in disease. Fibroblasts are supportive cells resident within tissues which may become activated in disease. Analysis on a cell-by-cell level has identified subpopulations that play a key role in sustaining and propagating disease in cancer and inflammatory disease. The extended financing enables Mestag to progress its pipeline of first-in-class antibodies towards the clinic, whilst simultaneously discovering new targets. Mestag recently announced a target discovery, option and license agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. to leverage Mestag’s platform and data analytics to identify novel therapeutic targets.
“The growing Mestag team continues to make tremendous progress in this exciting and fast-moving new field. We are thrilled to welcome leading EU and US investors Forbion, GV and Northpond Ventures to our company,” said Susan Hill, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Mestag.
Juliette Audet MBA, MSc, Partner at Forbion said, “Mestag and its founders’ are not only leading the fibroblast biology field, they also have assembled the best team of drug developers to translate this pioneering understanding of fibroblasts in diseases into impactful drugs and make a meaningful difference to patients suffering from cancer and inflammatory disease.”
Issi Rozen, MBA, Venture Partner at GV added, “With its use of advanced data analytics and computational approaches, Mestag is making meaningful progress to support its therapeutic programs and target discovery processes. We look forward to working with Mestag’s leadership team and founders as they build out their integrated biology platform and data sciences capabilities to support the Company’s therapeutic goals.”
Shaan C. Gandhi, MD, DPhil, Director of Northpond Ventures said, “Mestag’s focus on targeting pathological fibroblasts, which are increasingly recognized as key to mediating the immune response to cancer, is groundbreaking. I look forward to working with the Mestag team.”
Mestag’s mission is to develop impactful new medicines for patients by targeting activated fibroblast populations and their role in influencing immune effector cells in disease. Powerful new technologies enable diseased tissues to be analyzed at a single-cell level, and this work has uncovered discrete fibroblast cell sub-populations shared across diseases, acting as “immune sentinels” in perpetuating, and progressing disease. Mestag is progressing a pipeline of first-in-class therapeutics to interrupt fibroblast-mediated effects on immune cells in inflammatory disease and cancer.
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Mestag was founded in 2020 by leading investigators and SV Health Investors to develop new medicines for people affected by inflammatory disease and cancer. We develop impactful therapies for patients by targeting activated fibroblast populations and their role in influencing the immune system in disease. Our founding investigators comprise leading experts in inflammatory disease, cancer, computational biology and fibroblast biology Professor Michael Brenner (Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School), Professor Chris Buckley (Kennedy Institute, University of Oxford), Professor David Tuveson (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and President of AACR), Professor Soumya Raychaudhuri (Harvard Medical School and Broad Institute) and Professor Mark Coles (Kennedy Institute, University of Oxford).
The Mestag team is progressing a pipeline of first in class therapeutics to interrupt fibroblast-mediated effects on immune cells in inflammatory disease and immuno-oncology. Mestag is supported by leading global investors SV Health Investors, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Forbion, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Northpond Ventures. Mestag is headquartered in Cambridge, UK. For more information, please visit www.mestagtx.com
Forbion is a dedicated life sciences venture capital firm with offices in The Netherlands, Germany and Singapore. Forbion invests in life sciences companies that are active in the (bio-) pharmaceutical space. Forbion manages well over EUR 1.7 billion across multiple fund strategies that cover all stages of (bio)pharmaceutical drug development. Forbion’s current team consists of 20 life sciences investment professionals that have built an impressive performance track record since the late nineties with successful investments in over 70 companies. The firm is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Besides financial objectives, Forbion selects investments that will positively affect the health and well-being of patients. Its investors include the EIF, through its European Recovery Programme (ERP), LfA, Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI), AMUF and EFSI facilities and KfW Capital through the Programme, “ERP – Venture Capital Fonds investments”. Forbion operates a joint venture with BGV, the manager of seed and early-stage funds, especially focused on Benelux and Germany.
For more information, please visit: www.forbion.com
About Northpond Ventures
Northpond Ventures is a science-driven venture capital firm. Northpond partners with leading scientists, academics, and entrepreneurs to develop and empower breakthrough science and technology that transforms humanity. The firm has over $1 billion in committed capital and offices in San Francisco, California; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Bethesda, Maryland. Northpond was founded with a mission to build a better tomorrow.
Northpond Labs, the firm’s research and development-focused affiliate, collaborates with universities, research centers, and scientists to fund translational research that is poised to be the foundation of new ventures and scientific discovery.
Learn more at www.npv.vc.