Dr. Michael Otto Invests in Innovate Immunotherapy to Prevent and Eliminate Cancer and Viral Infections

February 18, 2015

Immunservice GmbH has concluded a new round of financing (Series C) to secure development of the company’s biological immunotherapy methods for the long term. Joining the existing consortium of investors comprised of Helmut Ponath, the Hubertus-Wald-Stiftung, the High-Tech-Gründerfonds (HTGF) and Hartwig Huland in the latest successful financing round was Dr. Michael Otto, entrepreneur and Chairman of the Board at the Otto Group.  

“The Immunservice team is thrilled with the personal support from Dr. Michael Otto. He has shown tremendous trust and a deep understanding of our products and innovative therapeutic approaches, which thanks to this major financial commitment we can continue to develop and implement with high efficiency. This is an important day for the success of our company, but in particular also a major step forward for the affected patients,” commented Immunservice GmbH executives Prof. Dr. Dr. Edith Huland (CEO) and Conny Cloppenburg (CFO).

Immunservice GmbH develops biological medicines that activate that body’s own immune system to eliminate cancer and viral infections. A key function in this immune defense is performed by Interleukin-2, an essential immune hormone that occurs naturally in the body. Immunservice produces Interleukin-2 for pharmaceutical development in an innovative form suitable for special applications. Clinical studies have shown that Interleukin-2 promotes healing in the most serious illnesses and it therefore forms the basis of  immunological pharmaceutical development at Immunservice.

“Immunservice is developing pharmaceutical products that have a broad scientific basis,  have been comprehensively harmonized with theEuropean Medicines Agencystandards and  are clearly oriented toward the patient’s well-being. The products have impressive economic potential and the team at Immunservice is experienced and highly motivated to see them become a success. All of this made the decision to invest an easy one,” Dr. Michael Otto commented on the investment.

The focus of  Immunservice is on renal cancer and melanoma. In these areas Interleukin-2 has already been proven effective and even to cure the disease. Immunservice develops  therapeutic methods that are especially well tolerated by patients, preserving quality of life during therapy and providing  access to these innovative  methods with the potential to cure.

Inhaled Interleukin-2 is well tolerated and has been used successfully to treat patients with lung metastases, making the tumours shrink and preventing or relieving shortness of breath..  Based on this clinical data, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued Immunservice an orphan designation for the inhalation application of Interleukin-2. For aggressive viral infections, Immunservice has immunological therapeutic methods that show tremendous potential in current animal models.

“Older patients, patients with accompanying diseases  and children in particular benefit from these innovative therapeutic methods. In addition, there are other completely novel therapeutic solutions in the R&D pipeline at Immunservice, such as highly effective immunological treatments for obesity and nicotine addiction. We are very pleased to be working with such a strong consortium of investors to further propel the development of Immunservice’s therapeutic methods,” says Dr. Michael Brandkamp, CEO of HTGF.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Edith Huland
Immunservice GmbH
Neuer Wall 50
20354 Hamburg
T: +49 40 822 186 481

About Dr. Michael Otto
Dr. Michael Otto is Chairman of the Board at the Otto Group, an international trading and services corporation, and one of Germany’s most successful entrepreneurs. Besides his tremendous engagement for sustainability in business, he also keeps a keen eye on innovative technologies. This has made the Otto Group one of Germany’s largest corporate venture investors in start-ups. Dr. Michael Otto also invests privately  in innovative firms.

Herr Benjamin Schaper
CURA Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft GmbH & Co KG
Werner-Otto-Str. 1-7
22179 Hamburg

About the Hubertus Wald Stiftung
Hubertus Wald and his wife Renate are among the most generous and important patrons in Hamburg. For many years now, the Hubertus Wald Stiftung,. which they endowed, has promoted and financed important work in the areas of medical research, culture, and society primarily in Hamburg. Through its investment in Immunservice GmbH, the Hubertus Wald Stiftung is combining two central foundation functions: the promotion of medical innovation and the long-term mission of increasing the foundation’s endowment.

Dr. Volkmar Herms
Director of the Hubertus Wald Stiftung
Große Reichenstr. 14
20457 Hamburg

About Helmut Ponath
Helmut Ponath, CEO and Executive Spokesman for the Reederei NSB, is an experienced, extraordinarily successful Business Angel who has taken part in a variety of business fields with tremendous economic potential.

About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).

Dr. Michael Brandkamp
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Schlegelstraße 2
53113 Bonn
T:  + 49 228 82300 – 101
F:  + 49 228 82300 – 050