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Enhancing the effective infiltration of immune cells into the microenvironment of cold tumors: CatalYm raises EUR 50 (USD 59) million from international investor consortium

CatalYm, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer immunotherapies, today announced the closing of its EUR 50 million Series-B financing round. The financing was led by Vesalius Biocapital III and joined by Novartis Venture Fund (NVF), Wachstumsfonds Bayern, coparion and founding investors Forbion and BioGeneration Ventures. CatalYm also received financial support from the EIF via the EIB-EIF Co-Investment Facility.

CatalYm develops monoclonal antibodies that enhance the effective infiltration of immune cells into the microenvironment of cold tumors, addressing a high unmet medical need in immuno-oncology. CatalYm’s lead molecule CTL-002 was specifically designed to neutralize a tumor-produced protein called GDF-15. High concentrations of GDF-15 in the serum and tumor microenvironment help the tumor to evade the immune system and are associated with resistance to current therapies. CTL-002 addresses three of the tumor’s immune-suppressive mechanisms, which all involve the inhibitory effect of GDF-15 on the immune-stimulatory LFA-1/ICAM-1 interaction. By neutralizing GDF-15, CTL-002 is expected to enhance infiltration of immune cells into the tumor, improve priming of T-cells by dendritic cells and improve tumor-killing by T-cells and NK-cells.

CatalYm has taken this antibody from the lab to the clinic in under three years. CTL-002 will be developed as a monotherapy and in combination with approved PD-1/PD-L1 antagonists in checkpoint-blocker refractory patients.