Abalos Therapeutics Launches with €12M Series A Round to Develop Novel Immuno-Virotherapies Against Cancer

Dr. Marcus Kostka appointed CEO, Dr. Jörg Vollmer joins as CSO

PRESS RELEASEAbalos Therapeutics Launches with €12M Series A Round to Develop Novel Immuno-Virotherapies Against Cancer--Dr. Marcus Kostka appointed CEO, Dr. Jörg Vollmer joins as CSO --Essen,  Germany,  October15,  2019–Abalos  Therapeuticsannouncedtoday a  EUR  12 million  Series  A  financing  roundestablishing  its  operations  and  leadership. The Company’s objective  is  to  develop  new  immuno-oncology  therapeutics  based  on  a  specific arenavirus strainthat preferentially infectsand proliferatesin cancer cellsgenerating a strong anti-tumor immune  response.The  Series  A  round  was  co-led  by  Boehringer  Ingelheim  Venture  Fund(BIVF)and Gruenderfonds Ruhr,   with   participation   from NRW.BANKandHigh-Tech Gruenderfonds(HTGF). Representatives  from all  investors  will  join  the  company’s  newly formed Supervisory Board.Concurrent   with   the   financing,   Abalos   announced   the   appointment   of experienced entrepreneurs Dr.  Marcus  Kostka asChief  Executive  Officerand  Dr.  Jörg  Vollmer asChief Scientific Officer. “Abalos’ goal is to capture the potent immune activation and highly specific tumor tropismof the   arenavirus   to   propel   a   differentiated   immuno-oncology   approach   towards   clinical evaluation,” said Dr.  Marcus  Kostka,  CEO  of  Abalos  Therapeutics.“After  funding  and supporting a range of biotechnology companies over the years, this promising technology and the chanceto build a company with Jörg as a highly-experienced immunologyexpert made this opportunity extremely attractive.”The  proceeds  from  the  financing  will  be  used  to advanceAbalos’ arenavirus-based  lead candidatestowards clinical testing. The Company will develop the initialproduct candidates using its proprietary Fast Evolution platform, whichwill generate virus strains with optimized anti-tumoral properties.  These candidates will be selected based on their ability tore-program the  immune  system  to  specifically  and  efficiently  eliminate  the  malignant  tumor  tissue.The approach is basedonthe innovative research of immunologists Prof. Dr. Karl Lang, Chair of Immunology  at  the  Medical  Faculty,  University  Duisburg-Essenand  Prof.  Dr.  Philipp  Lang, Director of the Department of Molecular Medicine II, University Düsseldorf.Abalos builds on a close collaboration with the Universities Duisburg-Essen and Düsseldorf. Dr. Aristotelis Nastosfrom Gruenderfonds Ruhrcommented:“Immuno-oncology continues to  make  very  exciting  progress,  however,  developing  drug  candidates  that  can  more  fully harness the power of the immune system remains a challenge,in particular,addressing not only  the  main  tumor  but  alsodistant  metastases. We  look  forward  to supporting Abalos’ experienced management team and its dedicated researchersto work on an arenavirus-based solution.”Dr. Marcus Kostka is a highlyseasoned industry expertbringing over 20 years and a range of experiences from Boehringer Ingelheim(BI), where he held positions defined by the ability to locate  and  advance  innovation. Most recently,  he  wasVenture  Fund  Partnerat  BI and  held board positionsatseveral companies andparticipated in the successful exits of Rigontec and ICD Therapeutics.
In his role as CSO, Dr. Jörg Vollmer brings to Abalos Therapeutics significant knowledge and experience in the areas of immunology, oncology and infectious diseases, which he obtained in various R&D and executive positions over the course of his career. Most recently, Jörg was CSO at Rigontec where he helped advance a novel immuno-oncology treatment approach into the clinicandled the company’s R&D efforts until the acquisition by MSD in 2017. About AbalosAbalos  Therapeutics  has  harnessed  the  unique  immune  stimulation  of  the  arenavirus  to develop a novel anti-cancer approach that provides the full breadth of the immune system’s power specifically against cancer cells. Through viral replication within cancer cells, Abalos’ arenavirus-based drug candidates are designed to awake preciseinnate and adaptiveimmune responses and activate all relevant immune cell types against primary tumors and metastases. Led  by  experiencedbiotech  entrepreneurs  and  immunology  pioneers,  Abalos’  goal  is  to achieve a quantum leap in immuno-oncology. For more information, please visit www.abalos-tx.com.About Boehringer Ingelheim Corporate Venture Fund (BIVF)Operating as a separate legal entity, the Boehringer Ingelheim Corporate Venture Fund drives innovation  through  its  strategic  investments  in  early-stage  science  and  technology.  With  an investment  volume  of  250  million  euro,  the  Venture  Fund  invests  in  biotech  and  start-up companies  with  innovative  concepts  and  technologies  that  have  the  potential  to  provide ground-breaking  therapeutic  platforms.  The  Venture  Fund  also  creates  companies  when  it identifies promising research projects in university and academia. The Venture Fund’s interest in young, mainly technology-oriented companies demonstrates its commitment to investigate new ideas and new science to prepare the way for Boehringer Ingelheim to expand into new therapeutic  approaches  and  businesses.  For  more  Information  visit boehringer-ingelheim-venture.comAbout Gruenderfonds RuhrJointly initiated by Initiativkreis Ruhr and NRW.BANK, Gruenderfonds Ruhr is the first private-sector early-stage fund in the Ruhr region to be financed by regional industrial and financial companies.  The  fund  invests  in  innovative  and  technology-oriented companies  in  the  life science & health, digital economy, chemicals & new materials, energy & industry and logistics &  trade  sectors.  Good  growth  and  exit  prospects  as  well  as  competent  management  are prerequisites.  As  a  multi-corporate  early-stage  fundGruenderfonds Ruhralso  opens  up important    industry    access    opportunities    for    the    respective    portfolio    companies. www.gruenderfonds-ruhr.comAbout NRW BankNRW.BANK is the state development bank of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its mission is to support its  owner –the  state  of  North  Rhine-Westphalia –in  the  completion  of  its  structural  and economic policy tasks. In its three fields of promotion “Economic Development”, “Housing Promotion”  and  “Infrastructure/Municipal  Promotion”,  NRW.BANK  uses  a  wide  range  of promotion tools –from low-interest promotion loans to equity finance to advisory services. It cooperates with all banks and savings banks based in NRW on a competition-neutral basis. NRW.BANK  takes  into  account  the  existing  offers  by  the  Federal  Government,  the  North Rhine-Westphalian government and the European Union in the arrangement of its promotion. nrwbank.com
AboutHigh-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTGF)High-Tech Gruenderfonds(HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven startups.  With  EUR  895.5  million  in  total  investment  volume  across  three  funds  and  an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge more than 550 startups since 2005.  Driven  by  their  expertise,  entrepreneurial  spirit  and  passion,  its  team  of  experienced investment managers and startup experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-techstartups in a range of sectors, including software, media, internet, hardware,  automation,  health  care,  chemistry  and  life  sciences.  For  more  Information  visit high-tech-gruenderfonds.deTo date, external investors have injected over EUR 2 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,400 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 100  companies.  Investors  in  this  public-private  partnership  include  the  Federal  Ministry  For Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW Capital, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the  companies  ALTANA,  BASF,  BAYER,  B.Braun,  Boehringer  Ingelheim,  Robert  Bosch, BÜFA,  CEWE,  Deutsche  Post  DHL,  Dräger,  Drillisch  AG,  EVONIK,  EWE  AG,  FOND  OF, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG. For more information, please contact: Abalos TherapeuticsGmbHMarcus Kostka, PhD, CEOPhone: +49 201 565787-00Email:kostka@abalos-tx.comAbalos media inquiries Trophic Communications Gretchen Schweitzer / Marie-Theresa WeickertTel: +49 89 2388 77-35 or+49 172 861 8540Email: schweitzer@trophic.euorweickert@trophic.eu