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Start-up raises 150 million DKK and proves concept of incubator

Martin Jakobsen, Founder, STipe Therapeutics

One year and ten million Danish Kroner from the BioInnovation Institute. That was all it took for the cancer drug start-up STipe to raise a series A investment of 150 million DKK (20 mio. €). For the founder of STipe, the rapid route to investment has been humbling and rewarding. For the CEO of BioInnovation Institute it constitutes a validation of the very idea of his programme.

Rapid acceleration resonates in life science community

BioInnovation Institute is a Copenhagen Science City-based discovery, incubation and acceleration programme within life science, founded and funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The Institute opened in November 2018 and STipe was one of the two first companies accepted into BII’s so-called Creation House-programme.

The fact that we, in less than one year after our inauguration, have helped an early start-up company to accelerate to a point where they can secure an investment of EUR 20M is an achievement that resonates in the life science eco-system”. Jens Nielsen, CEO of BioInnovation Institute.

From lab to investment thanks to solid advice

STipe Therapeutics aims to fight cancer by combining current immunotherapies with a direct sensitization of the innate immune system. The Creation House-programme funded them with 10 million DKK (1,3 mio EUR). The funding gave them time to develop a proof-of-concept data package for their novel immune modulatory technology. The programme, crucially, gave them the network and insight needed to locate attractive investors.

We started as a basic research project and today, we have transformed into a start-up with a package that has shown to be interesting for a large group of investors. BioInnovation Institute has enabled us to push forward continuously”. Martin Jakobsen, Founder, STipe Therapeutics

Ready to start hiring

The start-up is a spinout from the University of Aarhus, Department of Biomedicine. Founders, Associate Professor Martin Jakobsen, Ph.D. in medicine, and Claus Olesen, Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics, chose to grow their company at BII with its Copenhagen Science City-location. On the heels of the Series A investment, Jacobsen expects the STipe Therapeutics team to expand substantially in order to develop their lead candidate into a successful regulatory filing.

Strong syndicate behind investment

A syndicate led by Novo Seeds, the early-stage investment arm of Novo Holdings A/S, raised the 20 million EUR investment. Arix Bioscience plc will co-lead the syndicate, which also includes Wellington Partners Life Science V Fund and Sunstone Life Science Ventures A/S.

Stays in Copenhagen Science City

The start-up will continue to work at BioInnovation Institute with access to their office space and laboratories as well as to the research facilities and test-beds of the University of Copenhagen, University Hospital Rigshospitalet and University College Copenhagen.