High investor density at the start-up pitch day hosted by IZB

July 12, 2019

Twelve project teams presented their top-class research to 19 investors, four pharmaceutical companies, one family office and one industry partner

The High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and the Innovation and Start-up Center Biotechnology (IZB) in Martinsried near Munich organized together with Bayer AG and Boehringer Ingelheim as strategic partners, the “5th Munich Life Science Pitch Day” held on July 11, 2019 at the Faculty Club of the IZB. 29 project teams applied for the Pitch Day and 12 selected start-ups finally got the chance to present themselves to a total number of 25 investors, 55 guests attended the event. Dr. Lena Krzyzak, Senior Investment Manager of HTGF, moderated the event. During the session high-calibre research was presented at the highest level, from the introduction of silicate nanoparticles as a new drug delivery system, a microRNA approach to the loss of bone mass and muscle function, the development of novel cancer therapeutics, humanized antibodies for the treatment of MS /SLE patients, and increased efficacy of medications in the context of organ transplants.

The opening speeches were held by Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel (Managing Director of the IZB), Prof. Dr. Stefan Jaroch (Head of Strategic Technology Partnerships, Bayer AG), Dr. Marianne Mertens (Principal, Wellington Partners Life Science Venture Capital), Dr. Lena Krzyzak (Senior Investment Manager, High-Tech Gründerfonds) and Dr. Ioannis Sapountzis (Global Head BD&L, Boehringer Ingelheim). In his keynote speech, Dr. Daniel Vitt, CEO of Immunic, Inc., described how successful a biotech start-up can be. He explained his path from start-up to listed company on NASDAQ, which Immunic completed in just three years.

“We are pleased that the young project teams had the opportunity to present themselves to such a large number of investors at the IZB and to establish valuable contacts afterwards,” explained Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel, Managing Director of the IZB. In his welcoming speech he expressed his sincere thanks to the strategic partners, Prof. Dr. Stefan Jaroch from Bayer AG and Dr. Ioannis Sapountzis from Boehringer Ingelheim. His special thanks went to Dr. Lena Krzyzak for the elaborate selection of the project teams and the fantastic cooperation with the IZB during the preparation of the event.

“The diversity of investors and the quality of the teams have become a hallmark of this event. Of course, we are very happy about this”, emphasizes Dr. Lena Krzyzak, Senior Investment Manager of HTGF and moderator of the event. “Bringing the participants together and seeing the lively exchange is a success for us,” Krzyzak continues.

“It was great that we were now able to hold the fifth Pitch Day with the HTGF and the IZB in Munich. We are happy about the great response. Partnerships with young life sciences companies are of great interest to us and we consider this Pitch Day to be an excellent format for getting in touch with them,” explained Prof. Dr. Stefan Jaroch, Head of Strategic Technology Partnerships, Bayer AG.

“Only through networking and partnerships with life science pioneers and biotech founders can we find new solutions for the medical challenges of the future – we are convinced of this. The Pitch Day at the IZB offers an ideal forum that opens up new opportunities for us and for patients who are urgently waiting for medical innovations,” said Dr. Ioannis Sapountzis, Global Head BD&L, Boehringer Ingelheim.

The attending investors were enthusiastic about their quality of the research projects and subsequently had lively discussions with the young scientists and entrepreneurs. Abbvie Inc. and Eli Lilly participated as further pharmaceutical companies. Bayern Kapital, BB Pureos Bioventures, BioMedPartners AG, Forbion Capital Partners, Gimv, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Kurma Partners SA, Life Sciences Partners, Redalpine Venture Partners AG, Seventure Partners, TVM Life Science Management GmbH, Vesalius Biocapital Partners Sárl, VI Partners AG and Wellington Partners gave valuable feedback to the scientists from the venture capital side. The Family Office Occident Group and GE Healthcare as industrial partner also came to the IZB to highlight the market potential of the start-ups.

The following project teams presented on the “5th Munich Life Science Pitch Day”:

1.OPSYON, Dr. Laia Pascual Ponce:
Next generation immunotherapy combining highly specific tumor targeting with immune-checkpoint blockade in one molecule.

2.Avergen, Marius Yildiz:
Identification of a small molecule for the treatment of Huntington disease (HD). The therapeutic can reduce mHTT without gene modification.

3.PreComb, Jens M. Kelm:
PreComb develops 3D microtumor-based test devices that enable automated and standardized therapy profiling with patient-derived microtumors.

4.SiBreax, Dr. Tim Horlacher:
SiBreaX strives for a breakthrough in drug delivery by the introduction of silicate nanoparticles as novel drug delivery system.

5.Bluehaven, Dr. Thomas Taapken:
Development of novel cancer therapeutics: The aim of Bluehaven is the discovery and development of novel cancer therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need against aggressive and resistant cancers from validated target to clinical proof of concept.

6.Kumovis, Miriam Haerst:
Kumovis develops 3D printers, specially tailored to the requirements of medical technology. The company focuses on the processing of high-performance plastics,
which are already established for medical use. With the patented technology of Kumovis a reproducible medical production by means of additive manufacturing is realized.

7.Actitrexx, Dr. Cornelius Sobel:
ActiTrexx focuses on the development and commercialization of the cellular therapy ATreg for the treatment of patients after stem cell transplantation (HSCT) to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GvHD, transplant rejection).

8.Glymipro, Dr. Francisco Pan-Montojo:
Glymipro has identified two neuroprotective compounds that show promising results in in vitro and in vivo models of various neurological disorders. The underlying molecular mechanism has also been identified. Glymipro will develop and license the use of these substances. At the same time, the team will use their knowledge and screening methods to synthesize and identify new molecules with neuroprotective properties

9.CellVita, Alexander Schueller:
The CellVita team derives drugs form cells and uses cell parts to increase drug efficacy. The start-up is developing mitochondria transplantation technolgy, which is being used for the first time in eschemia-reperfusion infury associated with organ transplantation. From there, the company will expand into the large markets of heart surgery and AMI.

10.Saverna Therapeutics, Dr. Kamal Azzaoui:
Saverna Therapeutics aims to discover safe and orally active low molecular weight molecules that target non-coding RNA biology and develop these as drugs to treat diseases with unmet medical need.

11. ImmuCon, Prof. Dr. Matthias Mack:
There is a strong medical need for better treatment of MS patients with acute relapse and of patients with active SLE. ImmuCon has two first-class humanized antibodies for the short-term depletion of monocytes in acute MS attacks and for blockades of IL-3 in active systemic lupus (SLE).

12. Project team that doesn’t want to be named yet.

Investors of the 5th Munich Life Science Pitch Day








Press photos for download at: , Copyright: IZB

About the Innovation and Start-Up Center Biotechnology (IZB)
The company IZB mbH, founded in 1995, is the operating company of the Innovation and Start-Up Centers Biotechnology in Planegg-Martinsried and Freising-Weihenstephan, and has developed into one of the top ten renowned biotechnology centers in the world. Approximately 60 biotech companies with more than 600 employees are currently located on an area covering 26,000 m2. This is where work focuses on developing drugs against the most severe diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and various autoimmune diseases –and there are already many successes. At the IZB Freising-Weihenstephan – 15 minutes from the airport – scientists are working on developments in the field of life sciences. An essential criterion for the success of the IZBs is the proximity to top research on the Martinsried / Grosshadern Campus. The new infrastructure measures, such as the Faculty Club G2B (Gateway to Biotech), the IZB Residence CAMPUS AT HOME, the Chemistry College Elhardt, the two kindergartens BioKids and BioKids2, as well as the two restaurants SEVEN AND MORE and Café Freshmaker, have become decisive location factors. Successful companies that have emerged from the IZB include, for example, Medigene AG, Morphosys AG, Micromet GmbH (now Amgen AG), Octopharma GmbH and Corimmun (today Janssen-Cilag). More information at

Press contact:
Susanne Simon
Head of Public Relations
Fördergesellschaft IZB mbH, Innovations- und Gründerzentrum Biotechnologie
Am Klopferspitz 19
82152 Planegg-Martinsried
Tel.: 089/55 279 48-17
Mobil: 0172/86 66 093

About the High-Tech Gründerfonds

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven startups. With EUR 895.5 million in total investment volume across three funds and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge more than 540 startups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and startup experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech startups in a range of sectors, including software, media, internet, hardware, automation, health care, chemistry and life sciences.

To date, external investors have injected over EUR 2 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,400 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 100 companies. Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW Capital, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the companies ALTANA, BASF, BAYER, B.Braun, Boehringer Ingelheim, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Post DHL, Dräger, Drillisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, FOND OF, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG

High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Lena Krzyzak
Schlegelstraße 2
53113 Bonn
Tel: +49 228 82300 145

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