‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands – Lava Therapeutics (“LAVA”) today announced it has raised EUR 16 million in its first major institutional financing round from an investor syndicate led by Gilde Healthcare. The funding will support development of LAVA’s proprietary pipeline of bispecific gamma-delta () T cell engagers for the treatment of cancer.
LAVA also announced the appointment of Paul Parren, PhD, as Executive Vice President and Head of Research & Development. Dr. Parren joins the company as an internationally recognized antibody drug innovator and developer with 30 years of experience in antibody science and drug development. For the past 16 years he served as Genmab’s Head of Preclinical Development and Research, translating antibody biology successfully into immunotherapies from discovery to the clinic, including approved therapeutic antibodies ofatumumab and daratumumab, as well as establishing validated antibody platform technologies. Dr. Parren is a Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, the Netherlands, board member of The Antibody Society and was an Associate Professor at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He holds a PhD in Molecular Immunology from the University of Amsterdam.
As part of the financing, LAVA established a Supervisory Board including Stefan Luzi, PhD of Gilde Healthcare. “LAVA’s differentiated T-cell engager platform has the potential to target oncology settings of high unmet need. Based on cutting edge Dutch science, LAVA fits very well in Gilde Healthcare’s portfolio which includes first- and best-in-class therapeutics throughout Europe and the US,” said Dr. Luzi.
About T cells
T cells are a potent class of proinflammatory immune effector cells and one of two main categories of T lymphocytes. T cells provide effective tumor immunosurveillance and anti-tumor immune responses against a wide variety of both solid and hematological malignancies. Human T cells are classified based on their receptor V chain, with V9V2 T cells being the predominant population in human peripheral blood. V9V2 T cells are endowed with specific reactivity to small phosphorylated metabolite antigens (termed phosphoantigens) that are expressed by tumor cells at higher levels and respond to signals from tumors leading to tumor-infiltration, interferon- secretion and tumor cell killing in addition to acting as antigen-presenting cells, priming the adaptive immune system.
About Gilde Healthcare
Gilde Healthcare is a specialized European healthcare investor managing EUR 1 billion across two business lines: a venture & growth capital fund and a lower mid-market buy-out fund. Gilde Healthcare’s venture & growth capital fund invests in therapeutics, medtech and digital health. The portfolio companies are based in Europe and North America. Gilde Healthcare’s lower mid-market buy-out fund invests in profitable European healthcare services companies with a focus on the Benelux and DACH region. The portfolio consists of healthcare providers, suppliers of medical products and other service providers in the healthcare market. The venture & growth fund is currently investing out of Gilde Healthcare IV which is financed, in part, by the European Recovery Program-European Investment Fund Facility.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.gildehealthcare.com