Novo Ventures and Sanofi Ventures, the venture arms of pharmaceutical companies Novo Nordisk and Sanofi respectively, have led a $83m series-C round for Netherlands-based T-cell cancer therapy company Lava Therapeutics.
New investors Redmile Group, Ysios Capital and BB Pureos Bioventures also backed the company, alongside existing investors Versant Ventures, Gilde Healthcare and MRL Ventures.
Lava intends to use the fresh capital to advance its development pipeline and its technology platform. Its proof-of-concept clinical trials are expected to begin in 2021, according to a statement.
Following the round, Novo Ventures partner Nanna Lüneborg, Sanofi Ventures' EU head of investments, Laia Crespo, and Ysios managing partner and co-founder Joël Jean-Mairet will join Lava's board.
In May 2018, Gilde led a €16m round for Lava, joined by Lupus Ventures and Versant. Gilde invested via Gilde Healthcare IV, which held a final close in June 2016 on €250m and generally writes equity tickets of €15-25m. Versant deployed equity from Versant Venture Capital IV, which held a final close in January 2017 on $400m.
Lava is a drug development company that aims to use gamma-delta T-cells to develop a treatment for cancerous tumours. The company was founded in 2016 and originated in the Amsterdam University Medical Centre. It is headquartered in Utrecht, with additional operations in Philadelphia in the US.
Lava Therapeutics – Stephen Hurly (CEO, president).
Novo Ventures – Nana Lüneborg (partner).
Sanofi Ventures – Laia Crespo (EU head of investments).
Ysios Capital – Joël Jean-Mairet (managing partner).
Gilde Healthcare – Paul Parren, Stefan Luzi (partners).
Versant Ventures – Guido Magni (partner).
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