VALANX Biotech announces successful fundraise of 2.3 M EUR
VALANX Biotech specializes in the precise production of defined protein-drug conjugates for the pharmaceutical industry. The company, founded by Michael Lukesch and based in the xista science park in Klosterneuburg, Austria, is researching and developing protein expression systems that allow the company’s own synthetic amino acids to be incorporated into any protein at freely selectable positions in multiple copies. With the help of click chemistry, the modified proteins can be quickly and reliably combined with other molecular units. Put simply, VALANX uses innovative techniques from synthetic biology to offer creative solutions to a previously intractable problem for customers in the pharmaceutical industry and beyond. This opens new avenues for drug development.
In spring 2020, a six-figure seed investment was made by a syndicate consisting of IST cube, tecnet equity and SOSV from the USA. The company is now announcing subsequent growth financing consisting of equity and public funding in the amount of EUR 2.3 million. The lead investor this time is SkyGene from Lower Austria, which is investing in VALANX for the first time. The existing investors xista science ventures (formerly IST cube), tecnet equity and SOSV have also participated in this financing round.
“We see a rapidly growing need for a simple but highly precise technology platform for protein conjugation and the development of new click chemistry for the delivery of complex biotherapeutics. VALANX efforts, enabled by the innovative use of a patented synthetic amino acid as well as modern CRISPR strategies, and first successes of the proprietary Interleukin‑2 conjugate, were the key reasons for our investment”, explains Ingo Nagler of SkyGene.
Michael Lukesch, founder and CEO of VALANX Biotech, emphasizes: “Since our foundation in 2017, we have been working on a technology that will help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to produce protein drugs faster and more reliably. Our process allows protein conjugates to be precisely defined in terms of their molecular composition, which offers a significant advantage in terms of both production and drug safety.”
“Now we want to expand our team, further develop our revolutionary protein conjugation technology and intensify our contacts with industrial partners,” says Lukesch.
Doris Agneter, CEO of tecnet equity: “VALANX makes the conjugates usable as a tool for completely new applications in the pharmaceutical industry. As an investor, we are creating the environment in which this disruptive technology can develop its full potential. Our latest investment in VALANX enables world-class research and development work in Lower Austria.”
“It’s great to see how a scientific idea on how to solve a practical problem in the pharmaceutical industry has developed into a well-established company that is about to create a real impact with its technology,” says Alexander Schwartz from xista science ventures.
About tecnet equity
With a fund volume of around 50 million euros, tecnet equity is one of the leading equity investors for early-stage investments in Austria. tecnet finances young technology companies and companies with innovative business ideas through venture capital. Its support goes far beyond financial investment. With personal commitment, an international network and many years of experience, tecnet accompanies its portfolio companies to success. As a classic early stage investor, tecnet has been an active part of the Austrian start-up scene for many years.
About xista science ventures
xista science ventures is a venture fund specializing in visionary scientific start-ups and academic spin-offs. With a profound understanding of both the scientific and investor perspective, xista science ventures is a partner that supports founders in realizing their technological ideas and building scalable companies.
SOSV is a global venture fund that runs programs to develop early-stage startups, in particular HAX, IndieBio and Orbit Startups. SOSV’s primary mission is to support visionary, innovative founders whose companies will have a profoundly positive impact on human and planetary health.