Affimed Therapeutics AG, the therapeutic TandAb antibody company, today announced the successful closing of a Series D financing round of EUR 15.5 million. The proceeds from this transaction will be used to fund the clinical development of Affimed’s therapeutic pipeline that consists of two TandAb products, AFM11 and AFM13. AFM13, a CD30/CD16A TandAb is currently being evaluated in a phase I clinical trial for the treatment of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The results of the trial are expected by December 2012. AFM11 a CD19/CD3 TandAb is in the late stage preclinical development and it is expected to enter phase I clinical studies in 2013. Both candidates have unique properties as shown in preclinical studies.
TandAbs are innovative bispecific tetravalent antibodies that are based on the company’s proprietary technology. This versatile technology produces biotherapeutic leads that are being developed for the treatment of oncological and anti-inflammatory diseases. In oncology indications TandAbs bind target molecules on the surface of tumor cells and immune cells (T cells or NK cells), triggering the activation of the immune system and leading to tumor cell destruction.
The Series D financing round is lead by existing investors Aeris Capital, BioMedInvest, LSP Life Sciences Partners, Novo Nordisk A/S and Orbimed.
Dr. Adi Hoess, CEO of Affimed, commented: ‘AFM11 and AFM13 represent real opportunities to generate highly potent medicines for patients with severe malignancies and furthermore could create substantial value for investors. The closing of our Series D financing will allow us to further advance our programs and to generate important clinical data’.
About Affimed Therapeutics AG:
Affimed Therapeutics AG is a therapeutic antibody company developing unique antibody therapeutics as novel treatments for life threatening diseases with high unmet medical needs. The company has generated a growing pipeline of drug candidates based on its proprietary TandAb(R) antibody platform. Affimed’s product candidates are developed for the treatment of CD19-positive (AFM11) and CD30-positive tumors (AFM13).
Further novel product candidates are in development to treat solid tumors and autoimmune diseases. Affimed’s proprietary and highly productive TandAb(R) technology enables the company to generate unique tetravalent, bispecific, fully human antibody formats that promise increased therapeutic potential and superior profiles compared to monoclonal antibodies. The private company Affimed, which employs 30 people in Heidelberg, is a spin-off from the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg.
TandAbs(R), which were invented and developed by Affimed scientists, are tetravalent bispecific antibody formats that have two binding sites for each antigen. RECRUIT-TandAbs(R), such as AFM11 and AFM13, bind to target molecules on the surface of tumor cells (CD19 and CD30, respectively) and can activate immune effector cells such as cytotoxic T-cells or natural killer (NK) cells. RECRUIT-TandAbs(R) possess the same avidity and affinity for each target as an IgG; however, the much higher potency of TandAbs(R) versus IgG is achieved by a more efficient binding to the immune effector cells. Combined with their bispecificity, this format represents a potent further development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and, potentially, a superior alternative to first generation antibody formats/scaffolds. A robust production process for TandAbs has been established with excellent stability of the drug product.
Affimed has developed different kinds of TandAbs(R) for specific indications. While RECRUIT-TandAbs(R) are applied to oncology, BiBLOCK- and PROLONG-TandAbs(R) are developed for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.