High-Tech Gründerfonds portfolio company Immunic Therapeutics to trade on NASDAQ
April 15, 2019
- Reverse takeover enables Immunic to secure US listing on world’s largest electronic stock exchange
- Existing Immunic investors invested a further EUR 26.7 million as part of NASDAQ listing
- Founded in Bavaria, Germany, in 2016, the biotech start-up develops novel treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases
- High-Tech Gründerfonds has been at Immunic’s side from the very beginning
Immunic’s listing on the NASDAQ has been achieved through a reverse takeover, with the company slipping under the umbrella of listed company Vital Therapies, Inc. in a stock-for-stock transaction. After the closing of the transaction, the company will operate under the name Immunic, Inc., and will trade on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the ticker symbol “IMUX”. This represents a smart way for Immunic to go public, with less time and capital needed. It also raises the company’s profile on the international stage, putting Immunic in an ideal position to advance its growing clinical product pipeline.
For biotech companies, IPOs serve as key indicators that illustrate how high valuations for strong start-ups are both possible and appropriate. The financing scene for biotech start-ups will benefit from this successful example. Benchmarks like this are important in trade sale negotiations as they represent an alternative option.
Michael Brandkamp, Managing Director of High-Tech Gründerfonds, says: “Immunic has been very clever in navigating its route onto the US stock exchange. European stock markets are so fragmented that, for most high-tech start-ups, there’s not enough expertise or liquidity available.” They come up short in terms of international recognition. “If there is an attractive IPO in Poland, for instance, it goes unnoticed,” Brandkamp continues.
A listing on the NASDAQ does not mean that companies are turning their back on Germany, as evidenced by Immunic’s decision to base all its research and development activities solely in Planegg-Martinsried, Bavaria. “We will transfer our corporate headquarters and operational activities to the US, but Germany remains our top choice for research and development. When it comes to science, we believe Germany is the only place where we can advance our research and development projects with a great deal of efficiency, highly qualified teams and much lower costs compared with the US,” explains Dr. Daniel Vitt, CEO and President of Immunic, Inc. Immunic is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing oral therapies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The company was founded in 2016 and acquired two immunology projects from Martinsried-based 4SC AG.
Dr. Lena Krzyzak, Senior Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds, sees this as an area with a high medical need: “The current treatment options in the lead indication chronic inflammatory bowel disease are limited. Immunic opens up new treatment options – orally available immune modulators,” explains Krzyzak. “We were impressed with the quality of the product pipeline from the very beginning, along with the experienced and highly dedicated team led by Daniel Vitt, who has founded his fair share of companies,” adds Krzyzak.
Investors LSP, Omega Funds, Fund+, LifeCare Partners, Bayern Kapital, IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt and High-Tech Gründerfonds invested an additional EUR 26.7 million in Immunic AG, thus providing sufficient financing to fund development activities into the third quarter of 2020.
More information is provided in the Immunic, Inc. press release
About Immunic, Inc.
Immunic, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMUX) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of selective oral immunology therapies aimed at treating chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis. The company develops three small molecule products: IMU-838 is a selective immune modulator that inhibits the intracellular metabolism of activated immune cells by blocking the enzyme DHODH; IMU-935 is an inverse agonist of RORγt; and IMU-856 targets the restoration of the intestinal barrier function. Immunic’s lead development program, IMU-838, is in phase 2 clinical development for ulcerative colitis and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, with an additional phase 2 trial in Crohn’s disease planned for 2019. An investigator-sponsored proof-of-concept clinical trial for IMU-838 in primary sclerosing cholangitis is planned to start at the Mayo Clinic. For further information, please visit: www.immunic-therapeutics.com.
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven start-ups. With EUR 892.5 million in total investment volume across three funds and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge more than 530 startups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and startup experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech startups in a range of sectors, including software, media, internet, hardware, automation, health care, chemistry and life sciences.To date, external investors have injected over EUR 2 billion into the HTGF portfolio via about 1,400 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 100 companies. Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the companies ALTANA, BASF, BAYER, B.Braun, Boehringer Ingelheim, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Post DHL, Dräger, Drillisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG.