Major investment in Amsterdam cancer treatment startup

Founded in 2016 through Amsterdam UMC hospital’s TTO Innovation Exchange Amsterdam, CimCure designs and develops innovative forms of active cancer immunotherapy. The funding from investors including Positron Ventures and UMC professor Tom Wurdinger will boost a vaccine-based immunotherapy treatment that has potential as a superior, safer alternative to existing medication.

A safe, effective new cancer treatment

CimCure’s new therapy targets all forms of solid tumours. It could greatly improve on existing forms of medication, which has been known to induce drug resistance, reducing efficacy. Instead, CimCure’s cancer vaccines are designed to inhibit cancer growth in a way that bypasses resistance. They directly target tumour blood vessels, halting growth – a method that ultimately provides a safe, effective new form of treatment, which can be implemented at all stages.

Investors in ground-breaking biotech

Excited by the potential of CimCure’s new treatments, several investors have thrown their support behind the therapy. In this seed funding round, the main investor was Dutch company Positron Ventures, a €75 million (pre-)seed fund for European science startups. Besides Positron, several industry veterans also contributed, including Tom Wurdinger, a professor at Amsterdam UMC.

“We feel privileged to be able to invest in this promising iBoost technology and vaccine-based cancer immunotherapy, which might become a real game-changer in the fight against cancer,” says Joseph Peeraer, founding partner of Positron. “This investment exemplifies our thesis to invest at an early stage in outstanding scientists who would like to bring potentially ground-breaking and impactful innovation to the market. [CimCure CSO] Professor Griffioen’s invention may lead to much less demanding, cheaper and more effective cancer treatment.”

Towards new phase in fight against cancer

Furthering the progress made in promising studies trialling the new treatment, the new investments will now allow the development to move into clinical studies in humans, in partnership with Dutch vaccine CDMO Intravacc.

CimCure’s CEO, Diederik Engbersen, says: “Our first promising findings with murine animal models and client-owned dogs have recently been published in Nature Communications, bolstering our commitment to advance our technology and therapy towards clinical trials and cancer patients globally over the coming years.”

Amsterdam’s thriving life sciences and health ecosystem

The Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA), through which CimCure emerged, is a key interface between Amsterdam universities and investors. The organisation helps Amsterdam researchers create societal and economic impact by linking them up with businesses, not-for-profit organisations and institutions interested in their findings.

The news follows other recent breakthroughs in Amsterdam-based cancer treatments, such as a new partnership between the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and Swedish radiotherapy firm Elekta. More generally, research published in 2021 found ground-breaking developments from Amsterdam’s life sciences and health

Read up on pioneering medtech innovations in Amsterdam or discover more about the city’s wider life sciences and health sector. And keep track of Amsterdam business news for more updates on startup funding and much more.