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Record Danish biotech investment in Copenhagen Science City-triangle

Adcendo 380 Mio_Series A_ Left to right CEO Henrik Stage, Lars Henning Engelholm, Niels Behrendt, COO Christoffer Nielsen

51 million Euro or 379 million Danish Kroner in a series A investment round. That’s how much the Copenhagen Science City-based start-up Adcendo raised in a recent round. The company is a spinout from Copenhagen Science City-partners University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet, they have incubated at local accelerator BioInnovation Institute and  the capital injection is one of the largest series A investments in the history of Danish biotech.

By Jes Andersen

Promising cancer treatment

Adcendo is developing novel compounds for the treatment of cancers, so called antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). In mice their ADC’s have demonstrated a 100 percent cure rate of the cancers known as soft-tissue sarcoma (STS), a cancer type occurring in many places in the body.

Based on fundamental research at Innovation district-partners

The founders, researchers Niels Behrendt, Lars Engelholm and Christoffer Nielsen delivered the fundamental research and the early proof of concept at  Copenhagen Science City-partners The Finsen Laboratory at University hospital Rigshospitalet and Biotech Research Innovation Centre (BRIC) at University of Copenhagen. In 2019 The team was accepted into the BioInnovation Institute Creation House incubation programme. Here they paired up with the experienced life science entrepreneur Henrik Stage, who is now CEO of the young company.

Financing from experienced life science investors

The EUR 51M financing comes from a consortium led by Novo seeds  and Ysios Capital, along with RA Capital Management, HealthCap and Gilde Healthcare. Adcendo plans to use the capital injection to establish a pipeline of ADCs directed at novel cancer targets. They also plan to bring their main target-drug to proof of concept in patients.

Fruitful stay at incubator

BioInnovation Institute is a Copenhagen Science City-based incubation and acceleration initiative originally conceived by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Throughout Adcendo’s 18 months of incubation at BII, the team spent a 1.5 Mio Euro seed investment to refine their technology, test the efficacy and safety of several promising candidates and strengthen their business plan and clinical strategy.

During our time at BII, I have personally learned a lot more than I ever thought I would, even if I knew that the learning curve would be steep. As an academic founder, you tend to focus on the scientific discovery, and although I knew there was much more to it, I have been a little surprised by the sheer number of experts in many different areas that have come into play for us to reach this stage. It has been a couple of busy years and I doubt it will change, but I enjoy being busy and working with Adcendo at BII”: Christoffer Nielsen, COO and co-founder, Adcendo.

What Copenhagen Science City is

Copenhagen Science City is an innovation district in the heart of the Danish capital.
World-class science, a great business climate and high livability inspires businesses to co-locate, co-create and invest.

  • Co-locate with University of Copenhagen, University Hospital Rigshospitalet, University College Copenhagen and over 450 innovation intensive start-up companies.
  • Co-create with 30.000 students and researchers in medicine, healthcare and science.
  • Invest in world class science and enjoy access to state of art equipment for test and analysis and to academic know how and credibility.