Dutch biotech company CimCure, which is focusing on the development of vaccine-based cancer immunotherapy, has raised more than €5M ($5.3M) in a financing seed round led by Dutch company Positron Ventures.

CimCure, a spin-off of the Amsterdam UMC medical center, is set to use the funds to advance its vaccine up to phase 1-2 clinical studies in humans.

According to the company, the vaccine-based immunotherapy developed by the team of Arjan Griffioen at the Amsterdam UMC and licensed to CimCure, has shown high effectiveness and safety, both in animal models and in an efficacy study in client-owned dogs with spontaneous bladder cancer. 

CimCure was founded in 2016 as a spin-off of Amsterdam UMC and is led by Griffioen, CSO, and Diederik Engbersen, CEO. 

CimCure was created to commercialize a treatment strategy against all types of solid tumors at all stages, and can be combined with a variety of anti-cancer strategies.

“Game-changer”

Joseph Peeraer, founding partner of Positron said: “We feel privileged to be able to invest in this promising iBoost technology and vaccine-based cancer immunotherapy, which might become a real game changer in the fight against cancer. This investment in CimCure exemplifies our thesis to invest at an early stage in outstanding scientists who would like to bring a potentially groundbreaking and impactful innovation tomarket.  Professor Griffioen’s invention may lead to a much less demanding, cheaper and more effective cancer treatment.”

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Engbersen said “Our first promising findings with murine animal models and client-owned dogs have recently been published in Nature Communications, bolstering our commitment to advance our technology and therapy towards clinical trials and cancer patients globally over the coming years.”

About CimCure’s vaccine-based immunotherapy

CimCure develops cancer vaccines through its Immune-Boost (iBoost) technology of targeted conjugate vaccines. The company said it has identified specific targets in the tumor blood vessels. Eradication of tumor blood vessels and inhibition of their growth will lead to inhibition of cancer growth, the company stated. 

CimCure’s approach directly targets the tumor blood vessels, which reduces tumor growth directly and does not induce resistance. 

Earlier this year, CimCure received a €2.2M ($2.4M) award from the EU for a Eurostars project, for a consortium with partners in Switzerland and France. The company is also a part of the Oncode-PACT consortium recently awarded €325M ($347M) by the Dutch government to support the development of cancer vaccines. 

CimCure said the funds will help accelerate its iBoost vaccination program.

Dutch vaccine contract development and manufacturing company Intravacc will be CimCure’s partner for the development and production of the lead compound.

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