Gilde Healthcare announces Calypso to be acquired by Novartis for up to USD 425M - Gilde Healthcare

Gilde Healthcare announces Calypso to be acquired by Novartis for up to USD 425M

January 8, 2024
Utrecht (the Netherlands) and Boston MA (USA)
  • The acquisition of Calypso gives Novartis full rights to CALY-002, a pipeline-in-a-drug with potential in dermatology, gastro-intestinal and rheumatology indications
  • Calypso is a European biotech translating Interleukin-15 biology into medical breakthroughs by developing CALY-002, an anti-IL-15 monoclonal antibody, for an array of auto-immune indications
  • Gilde Healthcare acted as the lead investor of the first financing round from institutional investors in 2019

Gilde Healthcare, the specialized healthcare investor, today announced that Novartis AG is acquiring its portfolio company Calypso Biotech BV, a leader in the development of Interleukin15 (IL-15) targeted therapies. Calypso’s shareholders will receive an upfront payment of $250 million upon closing and are eligible to receive development milestones of up to $175 million based on the achievement of certain predetermined milestones.

Calypso, a spin-out from Merck, is focused on the research and development of monoclonal antibodies for an array of auto-immune indications, with an expertise in IL-15 biology. IL-15 is a broad, untapped immune axis that controls barrier function and downstream immune cascades in many chronic auto-immune diseases. Calypso’s lead product candidate, CALY-002, is a potential best-in-class therapeutic antibody that binds to and neutralizes Interleukin-15.

The acquisition gives Novartis full rights to CALY-002. Novartis intends to further explore CALY-002 across a wide variety of autoimmune indications with high unmet medical need. CALY-002 is currently evaluated in a Phase 1b trial in patients with Celiac Disease and Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

Alain Vicari, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Calypso, commented: “We are excited for this transaction with Novartis, a company with relentless commitment to the development of innovative therapies for autoimmune conditions. As part of the Novartis portfolio, CALY-002 is in the best position to be developed effectively, so that it can promptly address unmet medical needs in multiple indications.” Furthermore: “We extend our sincere gratitude to Gilde Healthcare for their pivotal role as the lead investor in Calypso from Series A through to trade sale. Their unwavering commitment, active involvement in strategic matters, and leadership on the board of directors have been instrumental in our success.”

Arthur Franken, General Partner, Gilde Healthcare, commented: “Calypso Biotech exemplifies our investment strategy: investing in top-tier products, working with skilled entrepreneurs, delivering superior care cost-effectively and generating strong returns for our investors. As lead investor, we have been privileged to work with Alain Vicari, his team and other investors, executing a pipeline-in-a-product strategy for maximum impact on patients suffering from chronic autoimmune diseases.”

About Calypso Biotech BV
Calypso is a private biotechnology company focused on the research and development of novel biologics to address unmet medical need in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Calypso is developing a novel anti-IL-15 monoclonal antibody to treat a broad range of chronic autoimmune diseases by blocking Interleukin-15 (IL-15) and its wide-ranging functions at many levels of the immune response cascade. CALY-002, a highly potent monoclonal antibody, neutralizes all 2 forms of IL-15 through a uniquely effective molecular mode of action to reduce inflammation and prevent tissue destruction. Calypso is a spin-off by the healthcare business of Merck KGaA and is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with offices and laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland. Investors include Gilde Healthcare, MVentures, Inkef Capital, Fountain Healthcare Partners and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.. For more information see

About Gilde Healthcare
Gilde Healthcare is a specialized healthcare investor managing over €2.6 billion across two fund strategies: Venture&Growth and Private Equity. The Venture&Growth fund of Gilde Healthcare invests in fast growing companies active in therapeutics, medtech and digital health, based in Europe and North America. The Private Equity fund of Gilde Healthcare participates in profitable lower mid-market healthcare companies based in North-Western Europe. For more information, visit the company’s website at

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