Press

Successful exit for HTGF: adivo joins Zoetis to bring the benefits of species-specific antibody therapies to pet owners worldwide

September 15, 2023

  • adivo’s team and platform will strengthen Zoetis’ capabilities in therapeutic antibody drug discovery for companion animals.
  • High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) was among the first investors in a seed round in 2018 together with OCCIDENT and MorphoSys AG and closely supported the successful development of adivo.
  • Dr. Kathrin Ladetzki-Baehs, Founder and CEO of adivo: “I look forward to seeing what our team can achieve as part of a leading organization with global reach while continuing to grow in one of the premier biopharmaceutical hubs in Europe.” 
  • Rob Polzer, Executive Vice President and President of Research and Development at Zoetis: “Adding adivo to our R&D organization brings in unique platforms that may accelerate our research and portfolio to potentially help us address our customers’ unmet needs in oncology, inflammatory diseases and other areas, and we are excited about the possibilities ahead.”
  • Dr. Angelika Vlachou, Partner at HTGF: “As an early backer of adivo it was impressive to accompany the fabulous development in the last years, and the acquisition by Zoetis is now the next logical step to bring the next-generation antibody therapeutics closer to the use in veterinary patients.”

Bonn, Germany and Puchheim/ Munich, Germany – Sep. 15, 2023 – adivo GmbH, a leader in discovering species-specific therapeutic antibodies for pets, announced that it is part of Zoetis, the world’s leading animal health company. HTGF and the existing investors OCCIDENT and MorphoSys AG sold their shares as part of the deal. HTGF was one of the first investors and has been a close supporter of the team since the seed investment in 2018.

adivo and Zoetis have collaborated since 2021 with respect to both canine and feline antibody discovery. In addition to successful research collaborations, adivo’s proprietary drug development activities led to a promising portfolio of antibody drug candidates in oncology and inflammatory diseases with a first-in-patient study to treat canine solid tumors initiated earlier in 2023. adivo will act as one of Zoetis’ innovation hubs for antibody drug discovery with its more than 1,000 m2 of lab space in Puchheim, Munich. 

“We founded adivo with the vision to bring the benefits of next-generation monoclonal antibody therapeutics to pet owners and their beloved companion animals worldwide. Joining Zoetis means together we have multiple approaches to delivering more gold standard species-specific therapeutic antibodies to companion animals,“ commented Dr. Kathrin Ladetzki-Baehs, Founder and CEO of adivo. “I couldn’t be more proud of the adivo team’s accomplishments after only some five years of operations and with a minimal seed financing to start our journey. I look forward to seeing what our team can achieve as part of a leading organization with global reach while continuing to grow in one of the premier biopharmaceutical hubs in Europe.”

“As the world leader in animal health, we are always exploring business development and external innovation activities that can complement our internal research and development capabilities,” commented Rob Polzer, Executive Vice President and President of Research and Development at Zoetis. “Adding adivo to our R&D organization brings in unique platforms that may accelerate our research and portfolio to potentially help us address our customers’ unmet needs in oncology, inflammatory diseases and other areas, and we are excited about the possibilities ahead.”

Dr. Angelika Vlachou, Partner at HTGF, comments: “We are thrilled to see that adivo with its excellent and powerful technology was acquired by Zoetis. As an early backer of adivo it was impressive to accompany the fabulous development in the last years, and the acquisition by Zoetis is now the next logical step to bring the next-generation antibody therapeutics closer to the use in veterinary patients.”

Since its foundation in 2018, adivo has established two leading technology platforms for the de-novo identification of species-specific antibody drug candidates with optimal functionality, developability and low risk of immunogenicity. Both technologies, CEASAR and FELIX, represent the first phage display antibody libraries for selecting drug candidates against a broad range of diseases affecting dogs and cats, respectively. The founding team, Dr. Kathrin Ladetzki-Baehs and Dr. Markus Waldhuber, attracted seed investments by High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), OCCIDENT and MorphoSys AG and managed adivo’s growth to the roughly 25 people team of today.

adivo team
Management team of adivo: from left to right Markus Waldhuber, Kathrin Ladetzki-Baehs and Philipp Baer (Picture: adivo)

About adivo
adivo is forging a new era for companion animal health. Our proprietary phage display antibody libraries deliver species-specific drugs for a growing market need. We apply our extensive drug discovery and protein engineering know-how to address cancer, chronic inflammatory diseases, and other serious conditions in pets. Together with our partners, we create the best possible
therapeutics for our beloved furry friends. For further information, please visit: www.adivo.vet.

adivo
Dr. Kathrin Ladetzki-Baehs
Phone +49 89 58 8088 471
E-mail: info@adivo.vet

For media
Mario Brkulj
Valency Communications
Phone: +49 160 9352 9951
E-mail: mbrkulj@valencycomms.eu

About Zoetis
As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. After innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect, and treat animal illness for more than 70 years, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide – from veterinarians and pet owners to livestock farmers and ranchers. The company’s leading portfolio and pipeline of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and technologies make a difference in over 100 countries. A Fortune 500 company, Zoetis generated revenue of $8.1 billion in 2022 with approximately 13,800 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.

About High-Tech Gründerfonds  
The seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) finances tech start-ups with growth potential and has supported more than 700 start-ups since 2005. With the launch of its fourth fund, HTGF now has about 1.4 billion euros under management. Its team of experienced investment managers and start-up experts support young companies with expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups in the fields of digital tech, industrial tech, life sciences, chemistry and related business areas. To date, external investors have injected about 5 billion euros of capital into the HTGF portfolio via more than 2,000 follow-on financing rounds. In addition, HTGF has already successfully sold shares in more than 170 companies.
Fund investors in this public-private partnership include the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, KfW Capital and 45 companies from a wide range of industries. 

Media contact 
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH 
Tobias Jacob, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager  
T.: +49 228 – 82300 – 121
t.jacob@htgf.de   

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