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January 6, 2010

f-star Raises $11.48M to Advance Antibody-Engineering Engine

  • Therapeutic antibodies company f-star raised €8 million, or about $11.48 million, in an extended Series A financing. f-star says that it will use the new funding to support drug discovery and development using its Modular Antibody Technology.

    The platform has been developed to allow the introduction of additional binding sites into therapeutic antibodies and antibody fragments by engineering the non-CDR loops of constant or variable domains but without changing the basic molecular structure of the respective starting molecule. f-star claims the platform enables the design of small-sized antibody fragments with full antibody functionality (Fcab™) or full-length antibodies with additional functionality (mAb²).

    “After an extensive evaluation of next-generation antibody companies, f-star stood out with its simple yet powerful technology, which has the potential advantages of smaller protein scaffolds while retaining the significant benefits of traditional antibodies,” comments Jeff Moore, Ph.D., vp of MP Healthcare Venture Management, one of the new investors that led the Series A round.

    MP Healthcare was joined by new investor Merck Serono Ventures and existing investors. Merck Serono Ventures was established in March 2009 to invest as a strategic, corporate venture capital fund in emerging biotechnology companies.

    Set up in 2006, f-star is looking to partner its Modular Antibody Technology with pharma and biotech firms. It is already involved in feasibility studies in which the starting molecule provided by the partner will be engineered to display desired properties.


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