VUmc spin-off raises 16 million in funding round

Lava Therapeutics, a spin-off from VUmc, founded by oncologist Hans van der Vliet, raised € 16 million for the development of experimental anti-cancer drugs. It is one of the biggest investment rounds this year for a non-listed biotech company.

The company develops bispecific antibodies for the control of cancer. The new capital will enable Lava Therapeutics, among other things, to make its most important candidate medicines suitable for testing on patients. The € 16 million in new capital comes from Gilde Healthcare, Versant Ventures and MRL Ventures, part of the American pharma group Merck & Co.

Lava Therapeutics also announced the appointment of Prof. dr. Paul Parren, PhD, as Head of Research & Development. Prof. dr. Parren joins the company as an internationally recognized antibody drug innovator and developer. Parren worked for Genmab for a long time. Representatives of Gilde Healthcare and Versant join the supervisory board of the company. CEO of the company is Erik van den Berg, who is also known as CEO of AM Pharma.

“The quality of the investors and the size of this financing underscores the potential of LAVA’s approach and its commitment to establishing itself as a leader in the γδ T cell engager field. The company’s vision is to create a new standard for potent and safe cancer treatments” said Erik van den Berg, Chairman of Lava Therapeutics’ Board of Directors. “The addition of Paul Parren to LAVA’s leadership team is further validation of the technology and LAVA’s dedication to developing a differentiating product pipeline.”

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