ActiTrexx GmbH, a new biotech spin-off from the University Medical Center Mainz, Germany, closed its €3.5m Series A financing.
The round was led by LBBW Venture Capital GmbH with participation from MediVentures GmbH, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and Investitions- und Strukturbank Rheinland-Pfalz (ISB).
Led by Prof. Andrea Tüttenberg and Dr. Helmut Jonuleit from the Department of Dermatology, ActiTrexx develops ATreg, activated regulatory T cells (Tregs), which are stimulated using a proprietary process, to prevent rejection reactions in transplanted patients and excessive immune responses in autoimmune diseases. For this purpose, the regulatory T cells, natural guardian cells of the immune system, are activated outside the body via a patent-protected method and administered to patients intravenously.
The company intends to use the funds to further optimize and clinically test the novel cell therapy. The first clinical trials for the treatment of leukemia patients who have undergone stem cell transplantation and are at particularly high risk of a life-threatening transplant rejection, graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), is particularly high, are due to start as early as 2021.The trial will run in cooperation with the III. Medical Clinic of the University Medical Center Mainz. Preclinical data demonstrated that ATreg can significantly attenuate an already existing GvHD, and even prevent, largely, the development of the disease when given early after transplantation as a prophylactic treatment.
In addition, ActiTrexx will receive further funding for its company launch from the GO-Bio program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Previously, the founders of ActiTrexx had already raised € 4 million in 2016 as part of the GO-Bio start-up initiative.