Schlieren, Switzerland, and Munich, Germany, December 07, 2016 / B3C newswire / -- Neurimmune and TVM Capital Life Science’s latest fund, TVM Life Science Ventures VII, today announced their investment in AL-S Pharma AG, a company based in Schlieren/Zurich, Switzerland. AL-S Pharma will develop, to proof-of-concept, AP-101, a human monoclonal antibody targeting misfolded SOD1 for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that was generated and pre-clinically validated by Neurimmune’s Reverse Translational Medicine™ platform. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord leading to the progressive paralysis of the muscles that control voluntary movement. Eventually, patients lose their ability to breathe and most people with ALS die from respiratory failure within three to five years from the onset of symptoms. To date, no disease-modifying treatment is available for ALS.
“We are very excited to see another monoclonal antibody developed through our Reverse Translational Medicine™ platform moving towards clinical development,” says Jan Grimm, PhD, CSO of Neurimmune and Member of the Board of AL-S Pharma. “ALS is a terrible disease, and we believe that AP-101 has the potential to provide therapeutic benefit to the patients suffering from it.”
TVM Capital Life Science and AL-S Pharma have the option to engage with Chorus, an autonomous unit of Eli Lilly and Company, to execute an efficient and cost-effective clinical plan. AL-S Pharma will also leverage its extensive product development expertise to potentially bring AP-101 to human proof-of-concept and aims to initiate the first human dose study in ALS patients in 2018 in collaboration with an international network of ALS clinics.
“The management team of AL-S Pharma is excited to collaborate with Chorus and TVM Capital Life Science, the advisor to the investing fund, to develop this promising drug candidate to clinical proof-of-concept,” said Michael Salzmann, PhD, COO of Neurimmune and AL-S Pharma’s CEO.
TVM Life Science Ventures VII, a venture capital fund domiciled in Munich, Germany and Montréal, Canada is a unique arrangement between TVM Capital Life Science and numerous limited partners, including Lilly. The fund follows a capital-efficient investment approach to finance and access innovation while managing risk and sharing reward. “TVM Capital Life Science is proud to have catalyzed the creation of AL-S Pharma AG in Switzerland and to have secured the rights to a compound that represents a new and innovative approach to neurodegeneration and ALS. This transaction is another demonstration of the benefits of our investment model in Europe, and the extent of our network,” said Hubert Birner, PhD, Managing Partner with TVM Capital Life Science and Chairman of the Board of AL-S Pharma. “We are pleased to collaborate with Michael Salzmann and Dirk Schimkat, who will act as CEO and CFO respectively for AL-S Pharma bringing continuity from Neurimmune.”
“Neurodegeneration is a core therapeutic area where Lilly is committed to identifying, accessing and shaping innovation for patients who are waiting,” said Christer Nordstedt, Lilly's vice president of neuroscience research and clinical development. “Working as a limited partner with TVM Capital Life Science is an important part of our risk-sharing strategy to complement the molecules we’re evaluating in our labs with the best discoveries from outside the company.”
Neurimmune is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of unique classes of human therapeutic antibodies for the treatment and prevention of important human diseases with a high unmet medical need. Established in 2006 as a spin-off of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, Neurimmune has rapidly grown into a leader in the field of recombinant human monoclonal antibody therapeutics. Neurimmune’s pipeline comprises high-potential drug candidates at both clinical and advanced preclinical development stages and Neurimmune has partnered four antibody programs with Biogen. Aducanumab for Alzheimer's disease is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials. The therapeutic antibody for Parkinson’s disease (BIIB054) is in Phase 1. Therapeutic antibodies for tauopathies and fronto-temporal dementia are in preclinical stages. Neurimmune is dedicated to forging successful collaborations with world leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry.
Neurimmune Holding AG
About TVM Capital Life Science
TVM Capital Life Science is providing venture capital to the international pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries with more than 30-years of transatlantic investment track record and in excess of US$1.4bn raised and under management. With its advisory, corporate finance and investment teams located in Montreal, Munich and Hong Kong, the TVM Capital Life Science team provides investors as well as entrepreneurs and innovation-seeking biopharmaceutical companies’ access to global life science innovation and provides paths for successful tech transfer and commercialization for the benefit of patients and investors alike.
The TVM Capital Life Science international team looks back on more than 130 investments and over 90 exits, including more than 45 initial public offerings on all major U.S. and European stock exchanges and has gained unrivalled international investment experience with their track record of dedicated board work, extensive global networks in the world of life science research and product development and a direct knowledge of the local markets.
TVM Life Science Ventures VII (GP) Ltd.
11-15 Seaton Place,
St Helier, Jersey
JE4 0QH, Channel Islands
TVM Life Science Management AG
2 Place Alexis Nihon, Suite 902
3500 Blvd De Maisonneuve West, Westmount,
Montréal, QC H3Z 1X5 Canada
About AL-S Pharma AG
AL-S Pharma AG is a special purpose company created to develop one compound to proof-of-concept. The project is fully financed by TVM Life Science Ventures VII and Neurimmune. AL-S Pharma plans to begin clinical development in 2018. Once cleared for clinical development by regulatory authorities, the AL-S Pharma compound will be tested in ALS patients. AL-S Pharma is led by an experienced management team and the Board of Directors comprises Guy Rouleau, director of McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and Hospital, Chair Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University , Hubert Birner, Managing Partner, TVM Capital Life Science, Munich, Marc Riviere, General Partner, TVM Capital Life Science, Montreal, Roger M. Nitsch (President of Neurimmune and Professor at University of Zurich, Institute for Regenerative Medicine) and Jan Grimm (CSO and Board Member of Neurimmune)
This press release contains forward-looking statements about TVM Life Science Ventures VII and Lilly’s investment in a pre-clinical stage compound for the treatment of ALS that is being developed by AL-S Pharma AG It reflects Lilly’s and TVM’s current beliefs; however, as with any such undertaking, there are substantial risks and uncertainties in the process of drug development. There is no guarantee Lilly will realize the expected benefits of the transaction, that the product will receive regulatory approval, or if approved, would be commercially successful. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, please see Lilly’s latest Forms 10-Q and 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies undertake no duty to update forward-looking statements.
Neurimmune / AL-S Pharma
Dr. Michael Salzmann
COO, acting CEO of AL-S Pharma
+41 44 755 4607
TVM Capital Life Science
Dr. Hubert Birner
+49 (89) 998 992-0
Dr. Luc Marengère