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  • TVM Life Science Ventures VII Announces Investment in Modulate Therapeutics Inc. for the Development of a Novel Immune-Oncology Nanomedicine

    February 1, 2016

Montréal, Québec, February 1st, 2016 –TVM Life Science Ventures VII today announced the fund’s ninth investment – establishing Modulate Therapeutics Inc., a company based in Montréal, Québec. Modulate Therapeutics Inc. plans to develop, to proof-of-concept, the compound IMM-01 that is designed to re-engage the immune system in order to recognize and eradicate neoplastic disease.

Modulate Therapeutics Inc. will explore the development of a nanolipogel formulation that targets the delivery of nano-doses of both a TGF beta inhibitor combined with Interleukin 2 at the site of the tumor growth, potentially synergizing with immune oncology checkpoint inhibitors and aims to further increase response rates and overall survival for patients with certain types of cancer.

“TVM Capital Life Science is proud to have enabled the creation of Modulate Therapeutics Inc., and to have secured the rights to IMM-01 from Immunova LLC. IMM-01 stimulates T-cell proliferation, increasing the presence of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes while blocking a key mediator of immunosuppression in the tumour microenvironment. This transaction is a testament to the benefits of our investment model,” said Dr. Luc Marengere, Managing Partner with TVM Capital Life Science and Board member of Modulate Therapeutics Inc. “Furthermore, we are pleased to collaborate with Brian Horsburgh and Mark Cipriano, who will act as CEO and CFO respectively for Modulate Therapeutics Inc. Brian has had a longstanding career in the life science industry; Mark is a well-known CFO in the industry.”

“The management team of Modulate Therapeutics Inc. is excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with the TVM Capital Life Science team to advance IMM-01 to clinical proof-of-concept,” said Brian Horsburgh.

This is the ninth investment for TVM Life Science Ventures VII, a venture capital fund domiciled in Montréal, Québec, which follows a new, capital-efficient investment approach to developing pharmaceutical assets to human proof-of-concept in single-asset companies. TVM Life Science Ventures VII is a unique collaboration between TVM Capital Life Science and numerous limited partners, including Eli Lilly and Company. The goal is to finance and access innovation while managing risk and sharing reward.

Modulate Therapeutics Inc. will leverage its extensive product development expertise to potentially bring their asset to human proof-of-concept. If and when proof-of-concept is reached, Lilly will have an opportunity to acquire the molecule.

“Oncology is a key therapeutic area for Lilly, given our strong legacy and expertise in this area,” said Richard Gaynor, M.D., senior vice president, product development and medical affairs for Lilly Oncology. “TVM Life Science Ventures VII is an important part of Lilly’s risk-sharing strategy, as our goal is to be innovative in our internal research efforts and to complement the molecules we’re evaluating in our labs with the best discoveries from outside the company.”

“Chorus, an autonomous unit of Lilly, will also make their clinical-development expertise available to Modulate Therapeutics Inc., enabling an efficient and cost-effective way for the potential medicine to go from candidate selection to clinical proof-of-concept,” said Dr. Luc Marengere.

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About TVM Capital Life Science
TVM Capital Life Science is providing venture capital to the international pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries with more than 30-years of transatlantic investment track record and in excess of US$1.3bn under management. TVM Capital Life Science currently invests from its 7th fund generation, TVM Life Science Ventures VII, with an integrated team of investment professionals from Munich and Montreal.

About TVM Capital Group
TVM Capital is a group of globally acting venture capital and private equity firms with an operating track record of 30 years. Investment teams have financed more than 250 emerging companies across several industries since 1984. During the last 15 years the firm has become increasingly specialized in the most attractive and high-growth verticals in the broader healthcare markets, with focus areas in financing innovative products and technologies in the European and U.S. biopharmaceutical and medical device markets, as well as healthcare services in Emerging Markets. TVM Capital funds operate globally with dedicated life science venture capital funds advised by group members TVM Life Science Management in Montréal and in Munich, TVM Capital China in Hong Kong, and its healthcare private equity fund managed by TVM Capital Healthcare Partners out of Dubai.

About Modulate Therapeutics Inc.
Modulate Therapeutics, Inc. is a special purpose company created to develop one compound, IMM-01, to proof-of-concept. The project is fully financed by TVM Life Science Ventures VII. To date, IMM-01has completed pilot animal studies with the goal to begin GLP toxicology studies and file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application in 2016 and 2017 respectively. If the IND is approved, IMM-01 will be tested in single ascending dose study in cancer patients and, if appropriate, in a multiple ascending dose study eventually leading to a clinical proof of concept (POC) in patients suffering from different cancer indications. Modulate Therapeutics, Inc. is funded by TVM Life Science Ventures VII and is led by an experienced management team.

About Cancer
Based on the National Cancer Institute of the United States, the burden of cancer at a glance is as follows:

  • In 2015, an estimated 1,658,370 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 589,430 people will die from the disease.
  • The most common cancers in 2015 are projected to be breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer, bladder cancer, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid cancer, kidney cancer, endometrial cancer, leukemia, and pancreatic cancer.

Most colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). Colorectal cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp, which may form on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. Some polyps become cancer over time. Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in men and women in the United States.
There are three main types of kidney cancer. Renal cell cancer is the most common type in adults and Wilms tumors are the most common in children. These types form in the tissues of the kidney that make urine. Transitional cell cancer forms in the renal pelvis and ureter in adults. Smoking and taking certain pain medicines for a long time can increase the risk of adult kidney cancer.