French biotech company Mablink Bioscience has raised €31 million ($30.3 million) in series A funding to advance its lead candidate to the clinic and to build a pipeline of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs).
The round was led by Sofinnova Partners and Mérieux Equity Partners.
Existing shareholders Elaia Partners, UI-Investissement/Pertinence Invest 2 (advised by Mérieux Equity Partners), Sham Innovation Santé (advised by Turenne Capital), Fondation Fournier-Majoie, Simba Santé (Angelor) and Crédit Agricole Création also participated in the series A.
Mablink’s technology is based on a unique structure of chemical links (called “linkers”) placed between an antibody and any chosen cytotoxic molecule to be delivered into tumor cells. The unique structure of those linkers masks the cytotoxic molecule which provides a “stealthy” property to Mablink’s ADCs, conferring two highly desirable pharmacological properties.
First, it enables ADCs to stay longer in the body and gives them more time to destroy tumor cells. Second, these stealth ADCs have greatly improved tolerability. These two aspects translate into a 10-fold increase of the therapeutic index observed in animal models. The company said this a potentially game-changing factor for future clinical successes in the ADC space.
The proceeds of the financing round will enable Mablink to become a clinical-stage biotech by bringing its lead candidate, MBK-103, into clinical development for the treatment of solid tumors, notably ovarian cancer. At the same time, Mablink will build a pipeline of ADCs for solid tumors.
Mablink Bioscience is a biotechnology company that seeks to bring new and better treatment options to cancer patients with unmet needs.
Mablink’s patented hydrophilic drug-linker technology enables the design of homogenous, plasma-stable next generation ADCs that have high DAR (drug-to-antibody ratio) while retaining excellent pharmacological properties and tolerability.
MBK-103 is an ADC designed with Mablink’s proprietary linker, and exatecan, a potent Topoisomerase-I inhibitor, as the payload. MBK-103 targets folate receptor alpha (FR), a protein overexpressed in several solid tumors with high unmet medical needs including ovarian or triple-negative breast cancers.