QLi5 Therapeutics Attracts EUR 10 Million in Series A Financing
Dortmund, September 7 th , 2022 — Qli5 Therapeutics GmbH (QLi5), a German-Korean joint venturedeveloping a new class of proteasome inhibitors, has closed a EUR 10 million series A financing round with an international consortium of investors including SV Investment (Korea), KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I (Germany), Atinum Investment (Korea) and DAOL Investment (former KTB, Korea).
QLi5 will use the proceeds to advance its pipeline of highly-differentiated proteasome inhibitors to the start of clinical trials addressing various indications. The proteasome functions as cellular ‘garbage processing facility’ eliminating misfolded, damaged or expired proteins. It is therefore critical to cell survival and presents a compelling target for the treatment of multiple conditions that involve an overproduction of non-functional proteins, including cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
Based on the leading proteasome expertise of Nobel laureate and company co-founder Prof. Robert Huber and a multi-year collaboration between his lab at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry and the Lead Discovery Center (LDC), QLi5 has established a versatile platform for the design of proteasome inhibitors with outstanding selectivity, unique non-covalent binding characteristics and favourable pharmacodynamic properties.
“This new class of proteasome inhibitors has significant advantages over first-generation approaches and opens a wide field of therapeutic applications. We are very much impressed with both, the platform and the progress made so far”, Representative of SV Investment says.
“QLi5 demonstrates what can be achieved when excellent science meets with professional drug discovery and development expertise”, adds Kiyean Nam, CEO and CSO of Qurient, co-founder of QLi5 and long-term strategic partner of the Max-Planck-Society and the LDC.
“We are glad to see the program advance so rapidly and efficiently. With the financing and added management expertise it is well on track to deliver on its promise for many patients who currently lack sufficient treatment options”, says Bert Klebl, CEO of the LDC.
“The commitment of this renowned group of investors highlights the exceptional potential of QLi5’s proteasome programs. I am looking forward to being part of this team of brilliant scientists and drug developers. Together, we are perfectly set to bringing the approach full fruition, medically and commercially”, says Martin Huber, CEO of QLi5.
“The current financing round is straightforwardly enabling new opportunities for treating patients with cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. We are perfectly satisfied, that the groundbreaking work from the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, put into experienced hands in industry, lays the foundation for this promising endeavour”, explains Dieter Link, licensing and patent manager at Max Planck Innovation.
QLi5 was founded in 2019 as a joint venture of Qurient Co. Ltd, Korea, Max Planck Society (MPG), Germany, Lead Discovery Center (LDC), Germany, Nobel laureate Prof. Robert Huber, emeritus director of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Germany. The company has established a proprietary platform for the development of proteasome inhibitors with high selectivity and unique, non-covalent binding properties. Using the proceeds of a EUR 10 million series A financing in 2022, the company is advancing its pipeline and preparing clinical trials in various indications including cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
The key role of the proteasome is the elimination of misfolded, damaged or expired proteins. The principle of proteasome inhibition was discovered in many years of basic research by the Max Planck Society. The extremely complex multi-subunit protein 3D-structure of the constitutive and immunoproteasome was resolved by Prof. Huber’s lab. This solid structural understanding enabled the development of novel chemical series of proteasome inhibitors with a wide range of selectivity.
About SV Investment, Korea
SV Investment is a venture capital & private equity firm headquartered in Seoul, Korea, with offices located in Boston, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Jakarta. Founded in 2006, we’ve invested in more than 220 companies, and made 48 successful IPOs. We invest in sectors with high growth potentials, mainly TMT, consumer & entertainment, healthcare and advanced manufacturing. As a strategic value creator, we prefer to lead the investment round and form a sound partnership with our investee companies, support the company in globalization, business development, strategy, HR etc.
About KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I GmbH & Co KG (KHAN-I)
KHAN-I is a limited partnership under German law with the European Investment Fund (EIF), Max Planck Foundation (MPF), Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (AWS), and KHAN-I Vermögensverwaltung GmbH & Co. KG as non-managing limited partners and Khanu Management GmbH (KHANU) as general partner and fund manager. The purpose of KHAN-I is to invest in innovative drug discovery projects and spin-out companies, primarily originating from academic sources, at the discovery, pre-clinical and clinical development stage for human healthcare and, opportunistically, veterinary care as well as to commercialise the results and products of the investments and, thus, to participate, directly or indirectly, in future proceeds.
About Atinum Investment, Korea
Atinum Investment is a top-notch Venture Capital firm established in 1988. Our investment philosophy revolves around the idea of finding the right intrinsic value of venture companies. With the insight of the various industry specialists at hand at Atinum Investment, we have comprehensive expertise in unearthing companies with high growth potential. Atinum manages Assets of more than US$1 billion in 26 funds and has invested in 400+ companies since its company set up in 1988.
About DAOL Investment (former KTB), Korea
DAOL (former KTB) was founded in 1981 as the first Venture Capital firm in Korea. Since then, DAOL has successfully managed over US$3 billion in venture and growth capital funds. We have learned how to uncover value for our portfolio companies and build lasting relationships. Throughout DAOL’s over 40 years of history, more than 250 portfolio companies of DAOL have gone public in Korea and abroad, accounting for over 10% of Korean IPOs. DAOL has offices in Seoul, Shanghai and Silicon Valley.
About Qurient, Co. Ltd.
Qurient, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development of novel therapeutics for oncology and inflammatory diseases from discovery to human proof-of-concept through a virtual R&D project management platform. Qurient’s pipeline includes multiple drug candidates in preclinical to phase 2 clinical development. For more info, please visit www.qurient.com.
Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. The LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, the LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society, KHAN-I GmbH & Co.KG and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, Roche, Apeiron, e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.
About Max Planck Innovation
Max Planck Innovation (MI) is responsible for the technology transfer of the Max Planck Society and, as such, the link between industry and basic research. With an interdisciplinary, team MI advises and supports scientists at Max Planck Institutes in evaluating their inventions, filing patents and founding companies. MI offers industry unique access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes. Thus, MI performs an important task: the transfer of basic research results into products that contribute to economic and social progress. Further information at: www.max-planck-innovation.de
QLi5 Therapeutics GmbH
D – 44227 Dortmund
TEL. | +49 177 8524152
E-MAIL | huber@QLi5tx.com