Captain T Cell Secures Seed Financing Round Totaling € 8.5 Million

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  • i&i Biotech Fund I SCSp, Brandenburg Kapital GmbH and HIL-INVENT Ges.m.b.H. participated in the seed round
  • Funds will be used to accelerate a new generation of T cell therapies against solid tumors towards the clinic

Schoenefeld/Berlin, Germany, May 22, 2024 — Captain T Cell GmbH, a biotechnology company developing next-generation T cells against solid tumors, today announced the successful closing of a seed financing round totaling € 8.5 million. A syndicate of experienced life science investors including i&i Biotech Fund I SCSp, Brandenburg Kapital GmbH, and HIL-INVENT Ges.m.b.H participated in the round. In addition, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting the Company through its prestigious GO-Bio program. The financing also marks the appointment of biotech veteran Jörn Aldag as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The funds will be used to further progress Captain T Cell’s first-in-class lead program towards the clinic along with a novel allogeneic platform for off-the-shelf treatments of solid tumors.

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Captain T Cell develops first-in-class efficacy-enhanced TCR-T cells for solid tumors that are not addressed by existing therapies. Using a toolbox of next-generation technologies, Captain T Cell generates TCR-T cells with enhanced persistence and the capacity to cope with the hostile tumor microenvironment of difficult-to-treat solid tumors. In preclinical in vivo models, the Company has been able to completely eradicate aggressive tumors using these efficacy-enhanced T cells. A key technology established by the Captain T Cell team is its proprietary TCR-ALLO platform for off-the-shelf treatment of solid tumors. The TCR-ALLO platform is a versatile tool that can be expanded to a variety of cancer indications.

The Company is a spin-off from the renowned Max Delbrück Center, Berlin, Germany, a leading European biomedical research institution. The institute provided valuable financial and infrastructural support throughout the pre-seed phase and together with its technology transfer partner Ascenion remains a close partner for future endeavors.

Dr. Felix Lorenz, CEO of Captain T Cell, said: “This successful financing round allows us to accelerate our high-potential therapies and brings us closer to providing life-saving options for patients underserved by current treatments. We are steadfast in our mission to progress our lead candidate towards the clinic and to establish our TCR-ALLO platform as a leader in off-the-shelf solid tumor therapeutics.”

“We have been following the Captain T Cell team for some time and have been impressed by their scientific depth and management capabilities. The team has generated highly convincing preclinical data. Also, we see tremendous potential in their off-the-shelf approach. It holds the promise of bringing life-saving therapies to patients at much lower cost. If successful, it could be applied to any TCR-T cell therapy currently in development, enabling widespread use of these therapies. Captain T Cell has the potential to become a global leader in the development of novel oncology drugs,” said Dr. Jaromir Zahrádka, Managing Partner of i&i Bio.

“T cell-based immunotherapies represent a powerful tool in the challenging fight against solid tumors. We believe Captain T Cell is positioned at the forefront of cancer therapy with its unique toolbox technology approach,” said Hao Nam Nguyen, Investment Manager at Brandenburg Kapital. “Brandenburg Kapital looks forward to supporting the highly ambitious team at Captain T Cell and to bringing this very promising project to fruition together with our co-investors and the BMBF funding from the GO-Bio program.”

“Captain T Cell combines a powerful proprietary drug development platform with an advanced preclinical product pipeline,” commented Dr. Friedrich Hillebrand, Managing Director of HIL-INVENT. “The Company’s programs address a high unmet medical need in the treatment of aggressive solid tumors. We are therefore pleased to participate in the Company’s seed financing round and support its future growth.”

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About Captain T Cell

Captain T Cell develops first-in-class, efficacy-enhanced T cell therapies against solid tumors that are not addressed by existing treatments. Captain T Cell generates next-generation TCR-T cells with enhanced persistence and the capacity to cope with the hostile tumor microenvironment of difficult-to-treat solid tumors. In addition, the Company has established a novel allogeneic platform to enable off-the-shelf treatments of solid tumors. Captain T Cell is based in Schoenefeld/Berlin, Germany, and backed by leading European investors i&i Biotech Fund I SCSp, Brandenburg Kapital GmbH, and HIL-INVENT Ges.m.b.H. Captain T Cell was founded by a dedicated team of immuno-oncology experts using technology developed at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin, Germany. For more information, please visit https://www.captaintcell.com/

About i&i Biotech Fund I (i&i Bio)

i&i Bio is a Luxembourg-based venture capital firm that invests in innovative European life sciences companies focused on drug discovery, medical devices, diagnostics, and digital health. The Fund was created thanks to the cooperation of the biotech incubator i&i Prague and the European Investment Fund. With over € 53 million under management, i&i Bio plans to invest in about 20 early-stage companies. i&i Bio is led by an experienced team of professionals with backgrounds in private equity, healthcare and venture capital supporting entrepreneurs on their journey to global success. Thanks to close cooperation with the fund’s main sponsor, the biotech academic incubator i&i Prague, i&i Bio is supporting and advancing transformative Central European technology companies.

For more information visit www.inibio.eu.

About European Investment Fund 

i&i Bio is supported by an investment from the EIF, with the support of:

  • lnnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing; and
  • the Pan-European Guarantee Fund (EGF), implemented by the EIF with the financial support of the Participating Member States. The objective of EGF is to respond to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring that companies in the Participating Member States have sufficient short-term liquidity available to weather the crisis and are able to continue their growth and development in the medium to long-term.

More information can be found here.

About Brandenburg Kapital

Brandenburg Kapital GmbH is a subsidiary of the Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB). As the venture capital arm of ILB, it has been supporting companies in Brandenburg since 1993 by acquiring equity and quasi-equity investments. As a public venture capital company, experienced lead investor and active partner, Brandenburg Kapital ensures a strong equity base for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises in the state of Brandenburg on the basis of a stable group environment. The equity fund, which currently amounts to around € 100 million, is available for this purpose. The funds for the Brandenburg Kapital fund, which was set up on behalf of the Brandenburg Ministry of Economic Affairs, are currently provided from the European Regional Development Fund and ILB’s own resources.
With a total of eleven funds, financed by the state, the EU, KfW, and ILB’s own resources amounting to around € 325 million, around 300 Brandenburg companies have been supported with venture capital and/or mezzanine financing over the last 30 years.
Further information can be found at: www.brandenburg-kapital.de

About HIL-INVENT Ges.m.b.H

HIL-INVENT Ges.m.b.H. is a company that focuses on investments in future-oriented industries. The emphasis is on life science, medical technology, pharmaceuticals, and related industries. HIL-INVENT Ges.m.b.H. is known for its collaborative approach and deep industry knowledge, providing a foundation for informed decisions and sustainable investments.

Contact:

Captain T Cell GmbH
Dr. Janna Hachmann
Chief Operating Officer
[email protected]

Willy-Brandt-Platz 2
12529 Schoenefeld/Berlin
Germany

Media Inquiries:

akampion
Dr. Ludger Wess / Ines-Regina Buth
Managing Partners    
[email protected]
Tel. +49 40 88 16 59 64 /
Tel. +49 30 23 63 27 68

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