Arix Bioscience plc ("Arix") (LSE: ARIX), a global venture capital company focused on investing in and building breakthrough biotech companies, today announces that it has invested in new portfolio company STipe Therapeutics ("STipe"), a company founded to exploit a novel mechanism in the Stimulator of Interferon Genes (STING) Pathway, a major driver of innate immunity, and regulator of tumorigenesis and autoimmune disorders.
Dr Christian Schetter, Entrepreneur in Residence at Arix, will join the company as Executive Chairman and Jonathan Tobin, Investment Director at Arix, will join STipe's board of directors.
The financing was co-led by Arix and Novo Holdings A/S and also included Wellington Partners Life Science Venture Capital Management GmbH and Sunstone LSV General Partner IV ApS.
STipe was spun out from Aarhus University, Denmark in 2018 and is working on harnessing the immune response to target a range of tumours, both directly and in combination with other antitumoral agents. The company is developing first-in-class drugs targeting intracellular protein-protein interactions of the STING Pathway. STipe's innovative technology has demonstrated that it can significantly increase the sensitivity of the innate immune system to rapidly detect even a small amount of tumour-DNA. This opens up the potential to induce a synergistic immune response alone or in combination with targeted anticancer therapies, immunotherapy or radiation. STipe has already identified potential lead compounds that modulate the STING pathway in a novel way, thereby changing the tumour microenvironment and demonstrating antitumour activity preclinically.
Joe Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Arix, commented:
"STipe adds a new approach to developing breakthrough cancer therapies within our portfolio. We are excited about STipe's novel angle on STING biology which we believe has the potential to enhance efficacy and safety compared with other innate immune targeting technologies.
"The combination of this exciting science, the founders' expertise and Christian's experience and leadership in immunotherapy, gives STipe a great platform on which to launch. We are pleased for the opportunity to help build this company with our co-investors and look forward to working with the leadership team to accelerate the development of new treatment options for cancer patients."
Dr Christian Schetter, Executive Chairman of STipe and Entrepreneur in Residence, at Arix, commented:
"By assembling a group of world-renowned scientific co-founders, alongside experienced company leadership, STipe has the opportunity to revolutionise the treatment of some cancers. I am delighted to be joining the company as Executive Chairman and look forward to working with my new colleagues to develop cancer therapies using our unique platform."
Dr Claus Elsborg Olesen, Chief Executive Officer of STipe, commented:
"The successful financing underscores the potential of our innovative technology and product pipeline. We are delighted by the strong support from Arix as well as our existing and new investors and I look forward to leveraging their extensive experience as we develop multi-product opportunities to target cancer."