ImVisioN Raises Series A

ImVisioN Therapeutics AG, a Swiss drug company focused on intralymphatic immunotherapy, has raised CHF 6.4 million ($5.66m) in Series A funding. Aravis Venture Associates led the round, and was joined by seed backer Nextech Venture and individual angels.


ImVisioN Therapeutics AG, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering intralymphatic immunotherapy (ILIT™), announced today that it has enrolled the first patient for a Phase I clinical study of its lead product IVN201, an immunotherapeutic product for cat dander allergy. The Company also announced the closing of a Series A Financing round of CHF 4.6 M, allowing the clinical development of IVN201. The financing round was led by Aravis Venture Associates AG and involved the participation of the founding investor Nextech Venture and private individuals.

The primary objective of this first human clinical study on ImVisioN’s lead product IVN201 for the treatment of cat dander allergies will be product safety, but the study will also assess several efficacy parameters. The first patient has been enrolled for this placebo controlled, double blind trial, conducted at the University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. The study will include a total of 20 patients allergic to cat dander and is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2009.

“Aravis Venture is delighted to be leading this investment in ImVisioN,” said Simon Nebel, Managing Partner at Aravis Venture Associates. “Current treatments for severe allergies are largely ineffective or so unpleasant that they have very poor compliance. ImVisioN’s approach has the potential to offer effective and fast treatment solutions with higher patient compliance.”

Martin Steiner, ImVisioN’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, added:

“This financing allows ImVisioN to conduct the first human studies on IVN201 for the treatment of cat dander allergy. This intralymphatic immunotherapeutic allows for the treatment of this common allergy with a minimum of injections leading to faster and more effective desensitization. This is the first product in our pipeline, which also includes treatments for other frequent allergies such as those caused by birch pollen or house dust mites.”

ImVisioN Therapeutics AG is a Swiss company that has been founded by ImVisioN Therapeutics Inc. (US) and now owns 100% of ImVisioN GmbH in Germany, Hannover.

About ImVisioN Therapeutics:

ImVisioN Therapeutics is a private biotechnology company with a heritage in Switzerland and Germany. The Company is the pioneer in intralymphatic immunotherapy (ILIT™), a proprietary technology for the delivery of immunotherapy in the treatment of allergies. ILIT is clinically proven and has been shown to be a safer, more efficacious and more convenient means of delivering allergy therapeutics. By applying another proprietary technology, Modular Antigen Transporter (MAT), ImVisioN leverages the potential of ILIT to develop drugs that use allergens safely for specific and highly effective antigen presentation. ImVisioN’s lead product is for the treatment of cat dander allergy and the Company has programs addressing birch pollen and house dust mite allergies. The Company’s proprietary technology platforms are applicable to further allergy targets, which may be addressed in future.

About Aravis:

Aravis, founded in 2001, is an international venture capital group focusing on private biotech and renewable energy companies with presence in Cayman, Switzerland, Singapore and Menlo Park, California. The Aravis investment team is comprised of 13 partners, investment experienced leading scientists, venture capitalists and operating executives who have been involved with the successful financing, growth and realization of more than 80 companies worldwide over the last 20 years. With the combined know how of scientific/technical expertise and management, Aravis seeks to add value to its investments by actively participating in the buildup and growth of its Portfolio Companies.

About Nextech Venture:

Nextech Venture Ltd. is a globally operating healthcare investment manager located in Zurich, Switzerland. The Company runs three healthcare venture funds (USD 137M), and has recently launched the world’s first oncology focused fund. The team has an overall experience of more than 40 years in the global pharmaceutical and 50 years in venture capital and financial industry. Nextech Venture co-founded ImVisioN in 2005, and substantially supported it through its lead investor role in three financing rounds.