UvA spinoff Macrobian Biotech secures seed investment

University of Amsterdam (UvA), UvA Ventures Holding BV and Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA-UvA) at Amsterdam Science Park, are pooling their resources to fund Macrobian Biotech BV, a single asset biotech company that will further develop its lead compound: MB-101 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease affects 10 million people worldwide and the current therapeutic strategy is limited to dopamine supplementation with L-DOPA. The company’s underlying technology is based on pivotal findings of Dr. Lars van der Heide and Prof. Marten Smidt at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Science (SILS) at the University of Amsterdam, also the founders of this company. Macrobian Biotech’s lead compound targets endogenous dopamine production and uptake with high spatiotemporal specificity, overcoming the need for levodopa supplementation. Prof Marten Smidt, co-CEO of the company said: “The investment in Macrobian Biotech will help us accelerate our drug development program. This is a new opportunity to redefine the way Parkinson’s patients are treated.”

The spin-off company will focus on lead optimization of an undisclosed target leading up to clinical phase one, but also aims to broaden its preclinical portfolio in the coming years. To this effect, Macrobian Biotech successfully concluded its first round of financing with participation from UvA Ventures Holding. “We are delighted to join forces with IXA-UvA and FNWI in backing Macrobian Biotech. Parkinson’s disease is an enormous social and economic burden on patients and society, and we believe that this company has the potential to bring a life-changing treatment to the clinic”, explains Peter Krijnsen, CEO UvA Ventures Holding.

IXA-UvA is the valorization body of the University of Amsterdam. In addition to managing the intellectual property and extending an exclusive license to Macrobian Biotech, it has also contributed towards the seed round via its proof-of-concept fund. Dr. Mirjam Leloux, director of IXA-UvA said: “Macrobian Biotech has shown impressive technical progress over the last few years. Spun out of UvA’s SILS, we believe this investment will enable the company to develop its next generation technology and accelerate clinical development of MB-101.”

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