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Mestag Therapeutics extends seed round to $45m

Mestag Therapeutics has extended its seed financing to $45million (£32.3m) following an oversubscribed extension.

The Chesterford Research Park inflammatory disease and immuno-oncology company welcomed Amsterdam-based Forbion, which led the $34m extension, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Northpond Ventures as new investors.

Susan Hill, CEO of Mestag Therapeutics. Picture: Karl Attard
Susan Hill, CEO of Mestag Therapeutics. Picture: Karl Attard

Founding investors SV Health Investors, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc - also joined.

The proceeds will help Mestag progress its first-in-class antibodies towards the clinic and discover new targets.

CEO Susan Hill said: “The growing Mestag team continues to make tremendous progress in this exciting and fast-moving new field. We are thrilled to welcome leading EU and US investors Forbion, GV and Northpond Ventures to our company.”

Mestag is focused on activated fibroblast populations and aims to interrupt their role in influencing immune effector cells in disease

Fibroblasts are supportive cells within tissues that can become activated in disease. Subpopulations have been identified that act as “immune sentinels”, playing a key role in sustaining and propagating disease in cancer and inflammatory disease.

The company recently announced a target discovery, option and license agreement with Janssen Biotech, which will leverage Mestag’s platform and data analytics to identify novel therapeutic targets.

Juliette Audet, partner at Forbion, who joins the board at Mestag, said: “Mestag and its founders’ are not only leading the fibroblast biology field, they also have assembled the best team of drug developers to translate this pioneering understanding of fibroblasts in diseases into impactful drugs and make a meaningful difference to patients suffering from cancer and inflammatory disease.”

Also joining the board is Issi Rozen, venture partner at GV, who said: “With its use of advanced data analytics and computational approaches, Mestag is making meaningful progress to support its therapeutic programs and target discovery processes.”

Shaan C Gandhi, director of Northpond Ventures, who joins the board too, added: “Mestag’s focus on targeting pathological fibroblasts, which are increasingly recognised as key to mediating the immune response to cancer, is groundbreaking.”

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