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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