Rigontec Raises Additional €15M in Extended Series A to Advance Novel RIG-I Targeted Immuno-Oncology Therapeutics
Rigontec, the leader in RIG-I targeting RNA therapeutics, today announced that it has secured EUR 15 million in a third and final closing of its Series A round. The financing represents additional capital from current investors Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Forbion Capital Partners, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), NRW.BANK, MP Healthcare Venture Management, Sunstone Capital and Wellington Partners Life Sciences. The funding will advance the ongoing development of Rigontec’s RIG-I agonist platform targeting oncological, anti-infective and inflammatory indications as well as accelerate the progress of lead candidate RGT100 towards the clinic.
“We are very grateful for the continued support from our investors,” said Christian Schetter, CEO of Rigontec. “This funding puts us in a great position to further expand our RIG-I targeting preclinical pipeline and propel our first program into the clinic by early 2017. It also emphasizes the unique and innovative potential our technology holds.”
Rigontec has first mover position in accessing the RIG-I innate immune pathway to pioneer a novel immuno-oncology approach. The RIG-I pathway represents an essential part of the innate immune system that is usually activated to attack a viral pathogen. Rigontec has developed a proprietary, advanced RNA-based technology to initiate through specific activation of RIG-I multiple pathways to kill tumor cells. Besides an early induction of direct tumor cell killing, Rigontec’s therapeutics initiate an immediate immune response against a patient’s distinct cancer cells, thereby harnessing the body’s immune reaction mechanism to efficiently destroy the cancer cells as well as enable long-term immunity against the cancer. In addition to malignant diseases, Rigontec’s innovative technology has also shown utility for the treatment of infectious diseases, further broadening the applicability of this groundbreaking new class of drugs.
Separately, Rigontec announced the incorporation of a US entity to complement its German operations and to facilitate its ongoing activities in the US, including future clinical development efforts. The company has established offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, initially as part of the German Accelerator Life Sciences (GALS) program, an initiative supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) that helps German life science companies enter the US market.
“I congratulate Christian and the team for gaining this additional financial support from a very well-regarded group of investors and see the location in Cambridge enabled through the 2 collaboration with the German Accelerator Life Sciences as a step towards further establishing Rigontec as the leader in RIG-I targeting therapeutics,” said Don deBethizy, Chairman of Rigontec’s Board of Directors. “Rigontec’s approach has a great potential in immuno-oncology both as a stand-alone and in combination with other therapeutic modalities for a range of cancers.”
Rigontec is the leader in RIG-I targeting RNA therapeutics. Utilizing our proprietary RIG-I agonist platform, we harness one of the most essential pathways in the innate immune system to pioneer a novel immuno-oncology treatment approach. Rigontec’s proprietary agonists specifically activate RIG-I, inducing both immediate and long-term anti-tumor immunity and have proven substantial local and systemic tumor regression in several relevant in vivo models. In addition to malignant diseases, our innovative bifunctional RNA molecules can be developed for the treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases.
Dr. Christian Schetter
Main: +49 151 466 75 978
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Dr. Stephanie May
Direct: +49 175 5711562
Main: +49 89 24243494 or +1 781 235 3060
About the German Accelerator Life Sciences
The German Accelerator Life Sciences (GALS) is an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, with the goal of helping German startups and young companies succeed in the global marketplace. GALS offers support in multiple areas, from free office space in the world’s leading life science innovation hub, to mentoring and advising from industry experts and experienced leaders. GALS opened its doors in October 2015 and has its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
German Accelerator Life Sciences
Main: +49 175 4130094
High-Tech Gründerfonds 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 Gründerfonds invests EUR 600,000 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 Gründerfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).