Advancing a new class of alpha radioligand therapies based on lead-212 (Pb212), a best-in-class alpha-emitting isotope
Lead program, AB001, in the clinic for the treatment of prostate cancer
Co-founded by radiopharmaceutical veterans Roy Larsen, Ph.D., and Øyvind Bruland, M.D., in collaboration with F-Prime Capital and Radforsk, with backing from Omega Funds
Led by an experienced team of industry and radiopharmaceutical experts, including
founding CEO Emanuele Ostuni, Ph.D., Chairman Ted W. Love, M.D.,
and independent director Susanne Schaffert, Ph.D.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and OSLO, Norway and LONDON and BASEL, Switzerland, June 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — ARTBIO, Inc. (ARTBIO), a clinical-stage radiopharmaceutical company developing a new class of targeted alpha radioligand therapies (ART), announced its founding with a $23 million seed financing led by F-Prime Capital with Omega Funds. ARTBIO was founded in 2021 by Roy Larsen, Øyvind Bruland, Radforsk, and F-Prime Capital to create highly targeted cancer therapies by pairing the optimal alpha-emitting isotope Pb212 with ligands against proven tumor-specific targets. ARTBIO is also creating an entirely new approach to ART manufacturing to overcome production and distribution challenges. In early 2022, Emanuele Ostuni, formerly Head of Europe for Cell and Gene Therapy at Novartis Oncology, joined ARTBIO as CEO to start building its world-class team and advance its proprietary technology, while securing additional funding from F-Prime Capital and Omega Funds.
The financing enables ARTBIO’s ongoing clinical development of its lead program AB001 for the treatment of prostate cancer. The funds will enable the company to advance a differentiated pipeline, further develop its AlphaDirect™ Pb212 isolation technology, and expand its distributed manufacturing network.
“Our unique approach combines Pb212 best in class properties with rationally designed ligands against tumor-specific targets to unlock the full therapeutic potential of alpha radioligand therapy,” said Emanuele Ostuni, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of ARTBIO. “Many cancer patients still have few or no treatment options. We focus on ARTs with Pb212 because they can selectively deliver lethal energy to tumors in an optimal timeframe, resulting in better outcomes for patients and easier management by health care professionals. We are equally focused on building a distributed manufacturing ecosystem to maximize the potential of these therapies through a footprint tailored to the short half-life of Pb212.”
A New Approach for Alpha Radioligand Therapy (ART)
ARTBIO’s unique approach is underpinned by a deep understanding of cancer biology and the infrastructure needed to effectively design, manufacture and distribute ARTs.
There are four distinct pillars of development:
- The ideal alpha-emitter profile: Pb212 has a short half-life that matches the properties of the small molecule carriers used by ARTBIO, delivering most of its energy into the tumor quickly.
- A differentiated pipeline of ARTs: ARTBIO has one asset in clinical development, with additional assets in rapid pre-clinical development, each focusing on addressing unmet medical needs.
- Distributed ART manufacturing ecosystem: The company is building an end-to-end distributed manufacturing network for reliable and fast delivery of therapeutic candidates to the bedside.
- Proprietary Pb212 isolation technology: ARTBIO’s AlphaDirect™ technology delivers highly pure Pb212 from widely available raw materials.
An Expert Leadership Team
ARTBIO has assembled a world-class team of talented professionals spanning multiple disciplines and categories.
“ARTBIO’s team is highly skilled and passionate, bringing together a unique combination of expertise in the radioligand space, drug development and oncology,” said Ted W. Love, M.D., Chairman of the Board at ARTBIO. “I believe that ARTBIO’s approach represents the future of radioligand therapy that will radically advance cancer care.”
The leadership includes:
- Emanuele Ostuni, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer; Former Head of Europe for Cell & Gene Therapy for Novartis Oncology
- Bharat Lagu, Ph.D., Sr. Vice President and Head of Discovery; Former Head of Drug Discovery at Mitobridge (acquired by Astellas)
- Victor Paulus, Ph.D., Sr. Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs; Former SVP of Regulatory Affairs at Fusion and Advanced Accelerator Applications.
- Vicki Jardine, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President of Clinical Development; Former Senior Clinical Development Leader (Alpha Radioligand Therapies) at Bayer
- Gjermund Olsen, Director of Manufacturing; Former Head of Technology Development (Radiotherapies) at Bayer
Scientific Advisory Board
- Øyvind Bruland, M.D.; ARTBIO SAB Chairman and Co-founder
- Roy Larsen, Ph.D.; ARTBIO Co-founder
- Oliver Sartor, M.D.; Director of Radiopharmaceutical Trials, Mayo Clinic
- Richard P. Baum, M.D.; President of the International Centers for Precision Oncology (ICPO) Academy and a Consultant at the Advanced Center for Radiomolecular Precision Oncology (RPO) at Curanosticum Wiesbaden-Frankfurt
- Dennis Benjamin, Ph.D.; Former Head of R&D at Seagen
Board of Directors
- Ted W. Love, M.D.; Chairman of the ARTBIO Board; Chair of Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s (BIO) Board of Directors
- Alex Pasteur, Ph.D.; Partner at F-Prime Capital
- Otello Stampacchia, Ph.D.; Managing Director and Founder at Omega Funds
- Roy Larsen, Ph.D.; ARTBIO Co-Founder, Founder of Sciencons
- Anders Tuv, Partner at Radforsk
- Susanne Schaffert, Ph.D.; ARTBIO Independent Director; Former President of Novartis Oncology and Advanced Accelerator Applications
- Emanuele Ostuni, Ph.D.; Chief Executive Officer of ARTBIO
- Martin Taylor, Ph.D.; Senior Associate at F-Prime Capital (Observer)
- Francesco Draetta; Partner at Omega Funds (Observer)
“ARTBIO is a global company that was incubated in Europe, where there has been much innovative development in the radioligand therapy space,” said Alex Pasteur, Ph.D., Partner at F-Prime Capital. “Roy and Øyvind are serial entrepreneurs responsible for developing the only alpha particle emitting radiopharmaceutical product currently on the market. We look forward to working with this team to support the development of their pipeline and advance their vision of creating alpha radioligand therapies that are accessible, effective, and safe for patients around the world.”
ARTBIO is a clinical-stage radiopharmaceutical company redefining cancer care by creating a new class of alpha radioligand therapies (ARTs). The unique ARTBIO approach selects the optimal alpha-emitting isotope (Pb212) and tumor-specific targets to create highly targeted therapeutics. The company’s AlphaDirect™ technology, a first-of-its-kind Pb212 isolation method, enables a distributed manufacturing approach for the reliable production and delivery of ARTs. ARTBIO is advancing three pipeline programs with lead program AB001 currently in first in human trials. ARTBIO is shaped by a long-standing scientific legacy with nearly a century of pioneering work in radiation therapy conducted at the University of Oslo and Norway’s Radium Hospital. For more information, visit www.artbio.com, and follow us on LinkedIn (@artbio-inc) and Twitter (@artbio_inc).
About F-Prime Capital
F-Prime Capital is a global venture capital firm investing in healthcare and technology to solve the greatest challenges in health and medicine while delivering on the conviction that everyone deserves a gold standard of care. For over 50 years and with a portfolio of nearly 300 companies and counting spread across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, our independent venture capital group combines singular and deep expertise in life science, healthcare, and technology to identify and support founders with the next big ideas in therapeutics, medtech, and healthcare IT and services. With over $4.5 billion dollars under management, our team has created or co-created over 30 companies including Denali, Beam, Innovent, Orchard and Sana and has helped build many others including Blueprint Medicines, Iora Health, PatientPing, Devoted Health, Prime Medicine and Ultragenyx. F-Prime is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with offices in London, UK and San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit www.fprimecapital.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Omega Funds
Founded in 2004, Omega Funds is a leading international venture capital firm that creates and invests in life sciences companies that target our world’s most urgent medical needs. Omega focuses on identifying and supporting companies through value inflection points across the full arc of innovation, from company formation through clinical milestones and commercial adoption. Omega Funds’ portfolio companies have brought 49 products to market in multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, rare diseases, precision medicine and others. Please visit www.omegafunds.com for additional information.
Radforsk is an oncology focused investment company dedicated to developing immunotherapies, precision medicine and radiopharmaceuticals. The fund has an evergreen structure allowing flexibility and focus on investments that will create long-term value. Radforsk’s investment model is based on very active ownership as investors and also hands-on company builders. Radforsk portfolio of companies spans from early start-ups to public companies with products on the global market. Radforsk is heavily involved in developing a sound life sciences ecosystem in Norway to ensure that portfolio companies and new innovations have beneficial conditions enabling success. Radforsk is behind and has supported some of the most successful oncology biotechs in the Nordics. For more information, please contact Chief Investment Officer Anders Tuv ([email protected])
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