LYON, FRANCE: Mablink Bioscience (“Mablink”), a biotechnology company aiming to transform cancer therapy using next-generation antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), announced today that it has raised a €31 million Series A funding round to advance its lead candidate to the clinic and to build a pipeline of ADCs using its proprietary platform technology.
The round was led by Sofinnova Partners and Mérieux Equity Partners, with participation from existing investors.
Mablink’s technology is based on a unique structure of chemical links (called “linkers”) placed between an antibody and any chosen cytotoxic molecule to be delivered into tumor cells. The unique structure of those linkers masks the cytotoxic molecule which provides a “stealthy” property to Mablink’s ADCs, conferring two highly desirable pharmacological properties. First, it enables ADCs to stay longer in the body and gives them more time to destroy tumor cells. Second, these stealth ADCs have greatly improved tolerability.
These two aspects translate into a 10-fold increase of the therapeutic index observed in animal models, a potentially game-changing factor for future clinical successes in the ADC space.
“We are very proud to be joined by such experienced investors,” said Jean-Guillaume Lafay, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Mablink. “They bring the necessary funds but also the expertise and network that will be critical for the success of Mablink in bringing its first ADC to the clinic. We are also thankful to our historical investors who decided to reinvest in this round.”
The proceeds of this financing round will enable Mablink to become a clinical-stage biotech by bringing its lead candidate, MBK-103, into clinical development for the treatment of solid tumors, notably ovarian cancer. At the same time, Mablink will build a pipeline of ADCs for solid tumors.
“Mablink offers a complete solution that tackles the challenges currently limiting the development of ADCs,” said Graziano Seghezzi, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners. “With its “masking” technology, we have the potential to build a pipeline of products for patients without real treatment options today. We look forward to working with Jean-Guillaume and his team to transform Mablink into a global ADC player.”
Valérie Calenda, Managing Partner of Mérieux Equity Partners, said: “Merieux Equity Partners was attracted by the project at its inception in 2019 and decided to support it through its industrial accelerator M2Care before advising UI Investment and Pertinence Invest 2 to participate to the seed round. Since then, the quality of the team and the progress made reinforced our conviction that this platform can bring to millions of patients safer and more potent ADCs thanks to an improved therapeutic window. We are delighted to continue supporting MabLink by co-leading this Series A financing with our venture fund OMX Europe.”
“After a €4M Seed funding a year ago, Mablink enters a new era. We are particularly proud of the success of this Series A funding, which will increase exponentially the capacities and investments of the company in research and development, the consolidation of its pipeline as well as the hiring of seasoned profiles” said Florian Denis, Investment Director at Elaia, on behalf of the Mablink’s historic investors.
Dr Calenda and Mr. Seghezzi both join Mablink’s Board of Directors.
Existing shareholders, Elaia Partners, UI-Investissement / Pertinence Invest 2 (advised by Mérieux Equity Partners), Sham Innovation Santé (advised by Turenne Capital), Fondation Fournier-Majoie, Simba Santé (Angelor) and Crédit Agricole Création also participated in the Series A.