Evotec said today it has formed a spinout company focused on nanoparticle-based therapeutics to treat immunological disorders.
Evotec has joined with three investor partners—Epidarex Capital, EMBL Ventures, and Gimv—to launch the spinout, Topas Therapeutics, with €14 million ($15.75 million) in Series A financing.
Topas is an early-stage therapeutics company using nanoparticle technology to target autoimmune and inflammatory diseases via the induction of antigen-specific immune tolerance in the liver.
Proceeds from the financing will enable Topas to expand and accelerate its liver-based tolerance induction platform, as well as advance its product development efforts in multiple autoimmune and inflammatory indications, including multiple sclerosis, into clinical proof-of-concept stage, Evotec said.
The platform has been exclusively licensed from the University Medical Center Hamburg–Eppendorf, where it was invented by Johannes Herkel, Ph.D., Jörg Heeren, Ph.D., and other colleagues in Hamburg. It is anticipated that Topas will advance their initial program targeting multiple sclerosis into clinical development in 2017.
Topas is working to develop the neuro portfolio of Bionamics, which was acquired in March 2014 by Evotec, a global drug discovery and development partnership company.
“The company formation of Topas is the first example of an acceleration of our business model representing an optimal risk-reward profile up to clinical proof-of-concept stage for our shareholders in selected fields of high strategic medical relevance,” Evotec CEO Werner Lanthaler, MBA, MPA, who is also interim chairman of Topas’ Supervisory Board
Gimv, a European investment firm, said separately that it contributed €4 million ($4.5 million) toward the Series A financing.