Dania Therapeutics is a University of Copenhagen spinout aiming to combat the aggressive cancer form Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. The early-stage company just received a 15 mio DKK investment from a syndicate led by the university’s own investment fund UCPH Ventures. This is only the second investment from the university in one of its own spinouts.
Dania Therapeutics is based on research carried out at University of Copenhagen by professor Kristian Helin and dr. Karl Agger. With help from the university’s Tech Transfer Office, the company was established in 2021 and the recent investment brought together the investors Lundbeckfonden BioCapital, EIR Ventures and EIFO in the syndicate with UCPH Ventures where the chairman is very happy about the new investment.
I am very pleased to see this group of partners come together for an investment, which holds the potential to accelerate the application of promising research and develop treatments that are needed in society. This type of investment reflects the reason why the university of Copenhagen established UCPH Ventures; Precisely so that we can connect our world-leading researchers with investors, who together can ensure that we can effectively put knowledge to use and make a difference to society”: David Dreyer Lassen, vice-chancellor for research and innovation, University of Copenhagen and Chairman of the Copenhagen Science City Development Council.
The company’s research focus is on a newly discovered biological mechanism and Danias’ developers exploit the fact that metabolism in cancer cells differs from that in normal cells. This broad-acting potential means that the method could be effective against several cancer types, for example other types of leukaemia and colorectal and pancreatic cancer. The University’s’ technology transfer officers are proud of their role in bringing it to market.
We, at the University’s Tech Transfer Office have worked with Professor Helin, a world-renowned researcher, for a number of years. We are very proud to have participated in the creation of an investment vehicle such as UCPH Ventures. Professor Helin has a track record of bringing basic research from the lab to commercialization. This is what technology transfer is all about”: Karen Laigaard, Head of Technology Transfer, Tech Transfer Office, University of Copenhagen.
Attractive local biotech ecosystem
The investment of DKK 15 mill. reflects a strong commitment to Danish science and to an attractive local biotech ecosystem, according to Lars Gredsted, Senior Principal at the Lundbeckfonden BioCapital:
We are stepping in with strong partners at an early stage, where we can help build and further develop Dania Therapeutics:”, says Lars Gredsted, Senior Principal at the Lundbeckfonden BioCapital.
Potential for innovation at universities
According to co-investors Eir Ventures, Dania Therapeutics is a testament to the continued search at the University of Copenhagen for solutions that can improve the lives of cancer patients.
With the investment in Dania Therapeutics, we combine the great potential of innovation at the Danish universities with the strength of strategic investments. Eir Ventures is proud to be part of this dedicated investor consortium of valued local partners.” Lene Gerlach, Partner, Eir Ventures.
Co-founder Kristian Helin is now President and Chief Executive at The Institute of Cancer Research in London. He is very pleased with this investment as it will allow his start-up to take the next necessary steps of developing new therapies for AML.
About UCPH Ventures
UCPH Ventures was established in 2022 and has entered into a co-investment agreement with Eir Ventures. The University of Copenhagen has set aside up to 2 million euros for co-investments with Eir Ventures. The aim is to utilize the world-class research carried out at the University of Copenhagen by investing in the development of spin-out companies. It is the first time that a Danish university engages in this form of spinout and investment support.
About Copenhagen Science City
Copenhagen Science City is one of Europe’s strongest innovation districts. It is located in the heart of Copenhagen. It has a unique concentration of some of the best and brightest minds, highly educated students from all continents and a cluster of innovative companies based in inspiring co-working spaces and innovation hubs. Access to state-of-the-art research and transport infrastructure is abundant. Some of Denmark’s most attractive residential areas and recreational activities are nearby.
The development of Copenhagen Science City is run by a high-level, strategic partnership of knowledge institutions, companies, innovation hubs and public authorities.