Cristal Therapeutics raises €12.8 M in new financing roundjanuary 20, 2017
Cristal Therapeutics, a privately-held life sciences company developing novel nanomedicines against cancer and other diseases, today announced the closing of a €12.8 million financing round. The financing comes from a consortium headed by Dutch oncology investor Aglaia BioMedical Ventures and Belgian DROIA Oncology Ventures and was complemented by BOM, LIOF and LBDF. Existing shareholders (founders, Chemelot Ventures, BioGeneration Ventures, Utrecht University Holding, Nedermaas Hightech Ventures) also participated in the round. The new funding will be used to continue and accelerate the clinical development of Cristal Therapeutics’ lead candidate CriPec® docetaxel, by executing a clinical phase Ib trial, building the momentum for a clinical phase II trial starting later this year. Funds also allow for intensified development of Cristal’s nanotech platform for its innovative CriPec® DUO and CriPec® oligonucleotides programs.
CriPec® docetaxel is Cristal Therapeutics’ lead candidate in development and represents a novel treatment approach of solid tumours. CriPec® nanoparticles with the anti-cancer drug docetaxel entrapped accumulate in tumour tissue and yield a significantly higher exposure within the tumour, thereby overcoming drawbacks of conventional docetaxel therapies. CriPec® docetaxel successfully passed various preclinical studies, demonstrating a significantly enhanced efficacy and an improved safety and tolerability profile. The candidate also successfully passed a clinical phase Ia trial in patients suffering from solid tumours where human tolerability and pharmacokinetics were assessed. Further safety and signs of efficacy will be evaluated in a clinical phase Ib study aiming to confirm the recommended phase II dose level and regimen. CriPec® docetaxel is expected to have substantial medical and commercial advantages particularly in combination therapies.
CriPec® DUO and CriPec® Oligonucleotides
Cristal Therapeutics is continuously searching to broaden the application of its nanomedicine platform. The CriPec® DUO concept aims to achieve a synergistic therapeutic response of two anti-cancer drugs entrapped in one nanoparticle.
Cristal Therapeutics also applies its CriPec® platform for the delivery of oligonucleotides to intracellular targets. CriPec®’s underlying proprietary polymer and linker technology offers exciting perspectives to overcome some of the major hurdles in the oligonucleotide field.
Dr Joost Holthuis, CEO of Cristal Therapeutics, comments on the new financing round:
‘We are thrilled to welcome high quality investors Aglaia and DROIA to Cristal Therapeutics, but also BOM, LIOF and LBDF complementing our group of investors. This clearly represents a growing commitment to nanomedicines and reflects the potential of our drug programs on the basis of the CriPec® technology.’
‘This funding comes at a time when we are taking meaningful steps forward with our clinical lead candidate CriPec® docetaxel towards achieving a better treatment for patients with advanced solid tumours. Today’s financing allows us to cover both the upcoming clinical phase Ib and IIa trial with CriPec® docetaxel and the preclinical studies for CriPec® DUO and CriPec® oligonucleotides for the period until 2019'.
Mark Krul, partner at Aglaia BioMedical Ventures, says:
‘Many cancer drugs could become more effective as a result of improved delivery of the compounds to the right cell type and cell compartment. We believe that Cristal Therapeutics’ state-of-art and highly versatile drug delivery platform has breakthrough potential in fields where drug delivery remains a key-problem, such as for nucleic acid based compounds and immuno-oncology complexes.’
Janwillem Naesens, partner at DROIA Oncology Ventures comments on their investment:
’We were impressed by the highly customizable pharmacological properties of Cristal Therapeutics’ CriPec® nanoparticles, which should enable a broad array of therapeutic applications. The delivery platform clearly stands out amongst other next-generation nanoparticles under development. With the backing of this solid investor base, the seasoned team will be able to explore the full potential of its technology.’