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LiliumX unveils rebrand as Valink Therapeutics and appointment of new board and execs after securing $7.8m investment

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LiliumX, an innovative BioTech start-up focused on the development of next generation antibody-based therapeutics, has unveiled its new brand name and welcomed three top industry leaders to the business, after securing $7.8 million (£6.3 million) in investment.

LiliumX was founded in 2021 by co-founders Arne Scheu and Irsyad Khairil, following their own research into “LEGO” protein technologies when studying at the University of Oxford.

LiliumX was initially founded to develop a rapid modular platform that enables the fast and efficient construction of better antibody-based drugs, such as bispecific antibody-drug conjugates (bispecific ADCs).

Following the successful demonstration of its revolutionary approach, which proved its capability to slash the time required for generation of new drug candidates from months to a single day, the advanced BioTech start-up has secured nearly $8 million (£6.5 million) in investment to drive future innovation.

The seed round was led by RV Invest and supporting investors including Hoxton Ventures, SynBioVen, Metaplanet, Acequia Capital, Magnet Ventures, Oxford Angel Fund and Y Combinator (W21).

As such, the company has now rebranded to Valink Therapeutics to represent its transition from a platform-building company to a therapeutics company.

It has also announced plans to work closely with Pharma Partners and companies developing protein-based assets alike to drive the future of antibody-based therapeutics through its modular, Universal Assembly Platform, aptly named: LiliumX.

Fundamental to this progression will be newly appointed board members and business executives, comprising of:

  • New CSO, Jose Munoz-Olaya, whose experience in preclinical bispecific antibody discovery and development across F-Star, Adaptate and Takeda strengthen Valink’s’ drug discovery pipeline
  • Aleksei Zeifman, Board Member of lead investor RV Invest
  • New Non-Executive Director, Alexey Lugovskoy, who has over 20 years of experience in drug discovery and early development, guiding multiple oncology, autoimmunity, and fibrosis programs into the clinic. As the CEO of Diagonal, EIR at Atlas Venture, and a Dragonfly, Morphic, Merrimack and Biogen veteran, Alex boasts a proven track record in integrating biology, clinical, regulatory and business insights.

Dr Arne Scheu, co-founder and CEO of Valink Therapeutics, said: “Valink Therapeutics started with a vision to find drugs that were truly novel, combining features to build and screen drug candidates that could treat cancer in synergistic and even unexpected ways.

“We are now excited to release a modular platform that seamlessly combines multivalency, multispecificity, and drug-conjugation, while rebranding as Valink Therapeutics to signify the extension beyond bispecificity alone, by Valency and Linking of small molecules into antibody-drug conjugates.

“We are delighted to enter this next stage of development with the support of our investors, Innovate UK, and new appointments Alex Lugovskoy (NED) and Jose Munoz-Olaya (CSO).”

Aleksei Zeifman added: “Investment in Valink Therapeutics is a great step towards realisation of our vision and strategy of improving patients’ lives through innovation, where its highly differentiated technology platform enables creation and screening of new complex biological drugs, at scale.

“We’re very excited to see further strengthening of the team with industry veteran Alex Lugovskoy joining the Board of directors and Jose Munoz-Olaya stepping in as a CSO concomitant to the financing round. We’re looking forward to creating new drugs together with the Valink team.”

A recently established VC player, RV Invest is focused on supporting highly differentiated technical solutions that can become future standards of care.

Headquartered in London, Valink Therapeutics is set to revolutionise antibody-based drug discovery, underpinned by its mission to improve patient outcomes through the development of its bispecific ADC in solid tumours and use of its unparalleled modular platform.

For more information, visit: www.valinktx.com

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