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Pfizer (US) invests in biopharma spin-off company (Flanders)

American multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer has invested in a spin-off of VIB and KU Leuven in Flanders, Montis Biosciences. The spin-off raised a total of EUR 8.4 million in seed capital and will develop a new immunotherapy to combat cancer. With this investment, Belgium and Flanders as a region reaffirms its position as Europe’s biopharma and biotech leader.

Cancer Immunotherapy as a human immune system therapy concept as a biomedical or biomedicine oncology treatment using the natural T cell fighting properties of the body as a 3D render.

Spin-off of VIB and KU Leuven

Montis Biosciences is the joint product of VIB (Flanders’ institute for biotechnology), investment fund Droia Ventures and KU Leuven. The start-up builds on the work of two renowned researchers, Peter Carmeliet (VIB-KU Leuven) and Massimiliano Mazzone (VIB-KU Leuven).

For seed capital, the founders received reinforcements from three investors within the life sciences industry: LS Polaris Innovation Fund, ALSA Ventures and Pfizer Ventures, the venture capital division of Pfizer Inc.

Battle against cancer

The Montis team will develop a method to treat solid tumors more efficiently by stimulating the supply of immune cells within the tumor. This is an interesting standalone immunotherapeutic approach to explore that also enhances the effect of other immunotherapies.

European number 1 for pharmaceutical investments

The biopharma industry in Belgium – of which Flanders is the autonomous northern region – has grown significantly in recent years. While the country represents only 2.2% of the EU population, it lays claim to 12.5% of all pharmaceutical investments made in the EU in 2018.

A report from pharma.be, the general association for the pharmaceutical industry in Belgium, supports this claim with impressive statistics. Dive into the report and discover Flanders’ thriving (bio)pharmaceutical industry.

More info

Montis BiosciencesVIB
Reported by
Newspaper De Tijd
28 February 2020

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