Press

December 1st 2021
  • Building the team with experienced biotech experts and renowned leaders in the ADC field
  • Underscores company’s commitment to progressing lead program on novel ADC target uPARAP

Copenhagen, Denmark, December 1st, 2021 – Adcendo, a biotech company focused on the development of breakthrough antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of underserved cancers, announced today the appointments of Carmel M. Lynch, PhD, as Chief Development Officer (CDO) and Pernille Høyrup Hemmingsen, PhD, as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). In addition, Dennis Benjamin, PhD, will support the Company as Research Fellow & Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

Carmel, Pernille and Dennis all bring more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with a focus on ADC development, and will strengthen Adcendo’s team and SAB as the Company continues to build on the potential of its unique biologic insights into novel ADCs and targets.

Commenting on the appointments, Michael Pehl, Chief Executive Officer of Adcendo, said: “I am delighted to announce these appointments today as we build on our committed team at Adcendo. Carmel’s tremendous experience and passion to take ADCs from discovery through development to product approval, and Pernille’s experience in having led manufacturing of biologics and ADCs on a global scale for several high-profile biopharmaceutical companies, will serve Adcendo well as we continue to evolve from a research-oriented early stage into a clinical stage and leading biopharmaceutical company. Carmel and Pernille are well known and highly respected leaders in their fields, and we are looking forward to tapping into their immense technical expertise and industry knowledge.“

“We are also extremely excited to have gained someone of Dennis’ caliber to support Adcendo. He brings long-standing industry experience in developing ADCs and will be able to help guide the selection of optimal product candidates and ensure the development and implementation of high quality research, pre-IND and clinical development plans.”

Dr Dennis Benjamin, PhD, added: “Adcendo has with uPARAP an exciting new target for the development of a first-in-class ADC in multiple underserved solid tumor indications, and being a part of the Company’s journey at this early stage is an exciting opportunity. I look forward to working with the excellent team and Board to unlock the full potential of our science, and to bring a pipeline of next generation ADCs to cancer patients in need of better treatment options.”

These appointments follow the Company’s recent EUR 51 million Series A round, which was one of the largest such financings for a Nordic biotech company. The company is working to bring its lead program on the novel cancer target uPARAP to development candidate nomination and proof of concept in patients. In addition to this program, Adcendo aims to build a pipeline of additional novel cancer targets ideally suited to ADC approaches.

Carmel Lynch, PhD, is a pharmacologist with over 25 years of experience in the biotechnology/biopharmaceutical industry spanning from discovery research to clinical development with an emphasis on translational sciences. Dr Lynch received her PhD at University College Dublin, Ireland, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center,

Seattle, WA. Carmel worked at a number of biopharmaceutical companies in the Seattle area prior to becoming an independent consultant in 2013. She led the Nonclinical and Clinical Pharmacology efforts for the ADC Brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris™) from initial IND-track to BLA (US), MAA (EU) and Health Canada approvals in 2011 and 2012 while at Seattle Genetics. She was also a member of the BioSafe working group on ADCs that provided industry input to the FDA on best practices for the nonclinical safety evaluation of antibody drug conjugates for oncology. Dr Lynch has contributed to numerous regulatory submissions worldwide predominantly for biologics.

Pernille Høyrup Hemmingsen, PhD, has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She was most recently VP, Global Product Development and Supply at Savara ApS. Prior to this, she spent five years at Genmab, in charge of antibody drug conjugate CMC and manufacturing, spanning non-clinical to phase II development. Other experience includes roles at Novo Nordisk and Egalet. Pernille has an Executive MBA from CBS-SIMI, and an MSc in Chemistry and PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from DTU, Denmark.

Dennis Benjamin, PhD, has over 25 years’ experience in drug discovery. He most recently was SVP of Research at Seattle Genetics where he was a key architect of the company’s ADC technology platform. Prior to that he was at Praecis Pharmaceuticals where he helped develop and implement one of the first DNA encoded library technologies. Over his career, Dennis has led teams that have discovered over 20 molecules which have entered clinical trials (including ADCs, antibodies and small molecules) and contributed to four drug approvals.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Adcendo ApS
Michael Pehl, CEO
Tel: +45 31541824
Email: Michael.Pehl@adcendo.com

Optimum Strategic Communications
Mary Clark, Supriya Mathur, Manel Mateus
Tel: +44 20 39 22 1906
Email: adcendo@optimumcomms.com

Notes to Editors

About Adcendo ApS
Adcendo ApS, a spin-out from the Finsen Laboratory of The University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet, is developing breakthrough antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for treatment of underserved cancers. In 2021, the company raised its Series A round of EUR 51 million, investors include Novo Holdings, Ysios Capital, RA Capital Management, HealthCap, Gilde Healthcare and BioInnovation Institute.

About antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs)
ADCs are a class of highly potent biopharmaceutical drug composed of a targeting antibody linked to a biologically active drug or cytotoxic compound. ADCs combine the unique and very sensitive targeting capabilities of antibodies, with the potent effects of the conjugated cytotoxic drugs, allowing sensitive discrimination between healthy and cancer tissues.

About the uPARAP target
uPARAP is a cell-surface receptor was originally identified, cloned and characterized by Adcendo’s scientific founders. The receptor, which is involved in collagen degradation, has a restricted expression profile in healthy individuals but is highly upregulated on the tumor cells of several cancers, including soft-tissue sarcoma, osteosarcoma, mesothelioma and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Additionally, uPARAP is found to be upregulated by cells in the stromal compartment in multiple indications, including breast-, colon-, pancreas- and prostate cancers. uPARAP is a recycling endocytic receptor with extremely rapid internalization kinetics, providing highly efficient entry for ADCs targeting uPARAP-expressing cells. Adcendo has realized the first demonstration of targeted drug delivery via uPARAP.

July 6th 2021

Experienced Industry Leader with successful Oncology, Immunotherapy & ADC Development Track Record

Adcendo, a biotech company developing innovative antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of underserved cancers, announces today the appointment of Michael Pehl as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Henrik Stage, co-founder of Adcendo, will move to the role of Chief Financial Officer.

Michael Pehl has over 25 years of international biotechnology and oncology leadership experience in both the US and Europe. He joins Adcendo from GEMoaB, where he served as CEO and led the recent formation and launch of a globally leading allogeneic CAR-T company together with Blackstone Life Sciences and Intellia Therapeutics. Prior to this, he was CEO of Immunomedics Inc., leading the development of sacituzumab govitecan in metastatic triple negative breast cancer, which was approved in the U.S. in 2020. Immunomedics was acquired by Gilead in 2020 for $21 billion. Previously, Michael Pehl was President of Oncology at Celgene, responsible for the global commercial, clinical development, medical strategy and operations. His responsibilities included overseeing global clinical programs and commercial launches of several drugs including Lenalidomide (Revlimid ), Pomalidomide (Pomalyst ; Imnovid ), Enasidenib (IDHIFA ), Nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) and Luspatercept (Reblozyl ). Prior to this he held commercial leadership roles in Oncology and Nephrology at Amgen.

John Haurum, Chairman of the Board of Adcendo, said: “We are delighted to welcome Michael to Adcendo. This comes at a critical inflection point in Adcendo’s development and we are very pleased to have someone with such a unique blend of proven scientific and commercial experience, including taking drugs from bench to market, to build on the company’s momentum and help maximize the potential of our unique biologic insights and novel ADCs.”

Michael Pehl, Chief Executive Officer of Adcendo, added: “I am incredibly excited to join Adcendo and help advancing our ADCs into the next wave of development. The company has a unique scientific understanding of its novel targets and I have been genuinely impressed by the progress achieved in such a short period since inception. I look forward to working with Henrik, the excellent team in Copenhagen and our Board to unlock the full potential of our science and bring a pipeline of next generation ADCs to underserved cancer patients.”

These appointments follow the company’s recent EUR 51 million Series A round, which was one of the largest such financings for a Nordic biotech company. The company is working to bring the lead program targeting the novel cancer target uPARAP/Endo180 to proof of concept in patients. In addition to this program, Adcendo aims to build a pipeline of additional novel cancer targets ideally suited to ADC approaches.

ENDS

 

For further information, please contact:

Adcendo ApS
Michael Pehl, CEO
Tel: +45 40 26 0900
Email: Michael.Pehl@adcendo.com

Optimum Strategic Communications
Mary Clark, Manel Mateus, Elakiya Rangarajah
Tel: +44 20 39 22 1906
Email: adcendo@optimumcomms.com

 

Notes to Editors

About Adcendo ApS
Adcendo ApS, a spin-out from the University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet, is developing novel antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for treatment of cancers. It was founded in 2017 by scientists Niels Behrendt, Lars Henning Engelholm and Christoffer Nielsen from The Finsen Laboratory of Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen, and Henrik Stage, a biotech-entrepreneur active in several biotech companies, and previously CEO/CFO of Santaris Pharma which was acquired by Roche in 2014.

In 2021, the company raised its Series A round of EUR 51 million, which was one of the largest such financings for a Nordic biotech company. Investors include Novo Holdings, Ysios Capital, RA Capital Management, HealthCap, Gilde Healthcare and BioInnovation Institute.

About antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs)
ADCs are a class of highly potent biopharmaceutical drug composed of an antibody linked, via a chemical linker, to a biologically active drug or cytotoxic compound. ADCs combine the unique and very sensitive targeting capabilities of antibodies, with the potent effects of the conjugated cytotoxic drugs, allowing sensitive discrimination between healthy and cancer tissues.

About the uPARAP target
uPARAP is a cell-surface receptor involved in collagen degradation and was cloned and characterized by the scientific founders. The receptor has a restricted expression profile in healthy individuals but is highly upregulated on the tumor cells of several cancer forms, including soft-tissue sarcoma, osteosarcoma, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), triple-negative breast cancers and certain leukemias. Additionally, uPARAP is found to be upregulated in the stromal cell compartment of several larger tumor indications, including breast-, colon- and prostate cancers. uPARAP is a recycling endocytic receptor, which mechanistically provides an extraordinarily efficient entry point into uPARAP-expressing cells. Hereby the target may be used as a cancer-associated “drug internalization pump” to bring the drug to the cancers. Adcendo is first to demonstrate targeted drug delivery via uPARAP

April 29th 2021

Adcendo raises EUR 51 Million in Series A Financing to Advance Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugates for Treatment of Cancers

  • Financing led by Novo Seeds and Ysios Capital is largest Series A for a Danish biotech company
  • Plans to build a pipeline of ADCs directed at novel cancer targets and bring lead uPARAP/Endo180 program through clinical development to proof of concept in patients

Copenhagen, Denmark, 29 April 2021 – Adcendo, a biotech company developing antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancers, today announced the successful closing of a EUR 51 million (US$ 62 million) Series A financing. The investment was led by Novo Seeds, the early-stage investment and company creation team of Novo Holdings, and Ysios Capital, along with RA Capital Management, HealthCap and Gilde Healthcare. The company was initially incubated and funded at the BioInnovation Institute (BII).

The new financing, which is the largest Series A financing for a Danish biotech company, will be used to establish a pipeline of ADCs directed at novel cancer targets and to bring the lead program targeting the novel cancer target uPARAP/Endo180 to proof of concept in patients.

Commenting on the financing, Henrik Stage, Chief Executive Officer of Adcendo, said: “In the last few years the ADC modality has delivered promising approvals of new drugs as well as significant commercial transactions. We are excited that we have secured this major financing from top tier investors and are looking forward to delivering on our vision of bringing new innovative treatments to cancer patients.”

John Haurum, Chairman of the Board of Adcendo, added: “With this funding we will be able to bring our first program – the uPARAP program – all the way to proof of concept in patients, translating the basic research done at The Finsen Laboratory benches, incubated through the BII’s Creation House Program, to new, real-life treatments.”

uPARAP is a unique novel cancer target overexpressed on the cell surface of several cancers. Being a collagen scavenger receptor that possesses constitutively active and highly efficient internalization and recycling properties, it has been demonstrated to play a role in tumor invasion. The expression and biological mechanisms of uPARAP makes it ideal for an ADC approach as it may be used as a cancer-associated “drug internalization pump” to bring conjugated drugs directly into the cancer cells.

The uPARAP collagen scavenger receptor has been found to be overexpressed by cancer cells in several indications with high unmet needs including soft tissue sarcoma, glioblastoma multiforme, triple-negative breast cancers, leukemia and osteosarcoma, as well as by stromal cells in several high prevalence cancers with substantial stromal tissue content, such as prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer.

In addition to the uPARAP program, Adcendo will build a pipeline of additional novel cancer targets ideally suited to ADC approaches.

Jeroen Bakker, Principal at Novo Seeds, commented: “Novo Seeds is focused on building world class companies that are developing innovative treatments for patients with unmet medical needs. We are proud to have been involved with the company since its early days and are very impressed with the progress achieved to date. We are very pleased to now co-lead this strong investment, building on the founders’ early-stage research at The Finsen Laboratory to develop Adcendo into a world leading ADC player with a pipeline of exciting novel ADC drugs.”

Joël Jean-Mairet, Managing Partner at Ysios Capital, added: “Adcendo is taking the ADC approach to the next level by focusing on targets that are professional internalizers and have exquisite tumor selectivity. We are very pleased to support this financing.”

The Board of Adcendo includes: John Haurum, Chair; Jeroen Bakker, Novo Seeds; Joël Jean-Mairet, Ysios Capital; Sanne de Jongh, Gilde Healthcare; Reza Halse, RA Capital Management; Mårten Steen, HealthCap and Lars Engelholm of Adcendo.

ENDS

 

 

For further information, please contact:

Adcendo ApS
Henrik Stage, CEO
Email: henrik.stage@adcendo.com
Tel: +45 4026 0900

Optimum Strategic Communications
Mary Clark, Manel Mateus, Elakiya Rangarajah
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3922 1906
Email: adcendo@optimumcomms.com

 

 

Notes to Editors

About Adcendo ApS
Adcendo ApS, a spin-out from the University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet and previously part of the BioInnovation Institute’s Creation House Program, is developing novel antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for treatment of cancers. It was founded in 2017 by scientists Niels Behrendt, Lars Henning Engelholm and Christoffer Nielsen from The Finsen Laboratory of Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen, and Henrik Stage, a biotech-entrepreneur active in several biotech companies, and previously CEO/CFO of Santaris Pharma which was acquired by Roche in 2014.

In 2018, Adcendo was awarded a pre-seed grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the owner of Novo Holdings, to help the company develop the commercial potential of its research discovery.

The scientific advisory board includes John Lambert PhD, the former CSO of ImmunoGen, Vincent de Groot PhD, Founder of the ADC company Syntarga, and Murray Yule MD, PhD, Oncologist experienced in translational oncology including ADCs.

About antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs)
ADCs are a class of highly potent biopharmaceutical drug composed of an antibody linked, via a chemical linker, to a biologically active drug or cytotoxic compound. ADCs combine the unique and very sensitive targeting capabilities of antibodies, with the potent effects of the conjugated cytotoxic drugs, allowing sensitive discrimination between healthy and cancer tissues.

About the uPARAP target
uPARAP is a cell-surface receptor involved in collagen degradation and was cloned and characterized by the scientific founders. The receptor has a restricted expression profile in healthy individuals but is highly upregulated on the tumor cells of several cancer forms, including soft-tissue sarcoma, osteosarcoma, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), triple-negative breast cancers, and certain leukemias. Additionally, uPARAP is found to be upregulated in the stromal cell compartment of several larger tumor indications, including breast-, colon- and prostate cancers. uPARAP is a recycling endocytic receptor, which mechanistically provides an extraordinarily efficient entry point into uPARAP-expressing cells. Hereby the target may be used as a cancer-associated “drug internalization pump” to bring the drug to the cancers. Adcendo is first to demonstrate targeted drug delivery via uPARAP.

About Novo Holdings A/S
Novo Holdings is recognized as a world-leading life science investor with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life sciences investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a broad portfolio of diversified financial assets. For more information: www.novoholdings.dk.

About Ysios Capital
Ysios Capital, a leading Spanish venture capital firm, provides private equity financing to early and mid-stage life science companies that develop disruptive therapeutic products and platform technologies. Founded in 2008, Ysios Capital manages over USD 420M through three dedicated funds in life sciences and is led by a team of professionals experienced in building biotech companies. For more information, please visit: www.ysioscapital.com. Twitter @YsiosCapital

About BioInnovation Institute
The BioInnovation Institute foundation (BII) is an international non-profit foundation supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. BII operates an incubator to accelerate world-class life science innovation that drives development of new solutions by early life science start-ups for the benefit of people and society. BII, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, offers start-ups and early-stage projects within health tech, therapeutics and bio-industrials state-of-the art labs, vibrant office facilities, business development, start-up business incubation, access to high-level mentoring and international networks plus unique funding opportunities. Since the inauguration of BII in November 2018, BII has awarded 48 million euro to 85 high-growth start-up companies. Read more on www.bioinnovationinstitute.com

About RA Capital Management
RA Capital Management is a multi-stage investment manager dedicated to evidence-based investing in public and private healthcare and life science companies that are developing drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics. The flexibility of its strategy allows RA Capital to provide seed funding to startups and to lead private, IPO, and follow-on financings for its portfolio companies, allowing management teams to drive value creation from inception through commercialization. www.racap.com

About HealthCap
HealthCap is one of the largest specialized providers of venture capital within life sciences in Europe. Since the start in 1996, HealthCap has backed and built more than 100 companies. HealthCap’s investment strategy focuses on diseases with high unmet medical needs and breakthrough therapies which have the potential to be transformative and improve the lives of patients suffering from these conditions. Please see: www.healthcap.eu and on Twitter: @HealthCapVC

About Gilde Healthcare
Gilde Healthcare is a specialized healthcare investor with $1.8 billion under management across two fund strategies: Venture & Growth and Private Equity. The firm operates out of offices in Utrecht (The Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany) and Cambridge (United States). The Venture & Growth fund of Gilde Healthcare invests in innovative companies active in (Bio)Pharmaceuticals, HealthTech and MedTech. The portfolio of the Venture & Growth fund is balanced with fast growing life science companies from Europe and North America. For more information, please visit www.gildehealthcare.com.

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