Araris Biotech has closed an oversubscribed seed financing round in the amount of 2.5 million Swiss francs. According to an article by startupticker.ch, the investors are Swiss venture capitalist firms Redalpine, Schroder Adveq and VI Partners.
Araris, a spin-off from the Paul Scherrer Institute and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, will use the funds to develop its pipeline of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for cancer therapy and bring these to the market.
ADCs consist of highly potent anti-cancer agents that are introduced into a tumor cell by means of a monoclonal antibody. They can selectively target the tumor cells without harming the healthy tissue. The potent anti-cancer agents are connected to the appropriate antibodies, recognize the tumor-associated antigen on the target cell and link to them. The link, which connects the toxin with the antibody, is therefore essential to ADC activity.
Araris’ innovative ADC linker technology allows for the attachment of the anti-cancer agent to ‘off the shelf’ antibodies, without the need for prior antibody engineering. This reduces both the time and costs of ADC development. Its ADCs also have a high efficacy and low level of toxicity. In addition, Araris’ technology, with its straightforward drug conjugation, versatility and high in vivo efficacy, make it possible to produce ADC compounds for the treatment of patients with a high, unmet medical need.
“Obtaining a seed financing from VCs just six months after the incorporation of Araris validates the strong interest in our novel linker ADC technology,” said Dragan Grabulovski, Araris co-founder and CEO. “The funding will allow Araris to progress quickly towards generating key proof principle data.”