September 25, 2020

Novo Seeds portfolio company Galecto raises USD 64m to accelerate development of clinical pipeline

Funds will support preparations for potential EU conditional approval of GB0139 in IPF and multiple new Phase 2 clinical trials. Galecto was first incubated by Novo Seeds and funded through the pre-seed grant programme of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Novo Seeds, the early stage investment and company creation team of Novo Holdings, today announced that its portfolio company Galecto Inc. (Galecto), a privately-held biotechnology company focused on the development of novel treatments for fibrosis and cancer, successfully completed a USD 64 million equity financing.

Galecto was first incubated through the pre-seed grant programme of the Novo Nordisk Foundation in 2009, and subsequently Novo Seeds led its first seed investment round in 2011. Novo Seeds was instrumental in recruiting the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hans Schambye who has been driving the progress since the start. Novo Seeds also led the company’s last fundraise in 2018, when it became its largest shareholder.

Søren Møller, Managing Partner at Novo Seeds, commented: “As the original incubators and first investor in Galecto, we are very proud of the company’s accomplishments to date. This solid financing positions this Nordic company as global leader in diseases with high unmet medical need and validates Novo Seeds’ investment strategy of building the next-generation of life sciences companies and continue financing as they build value. As one of the largest company creator teams in Europe, we are encouraged by this international syndicated fundraise and we look forward to continuing playing a prominent role in shaping the Nordic biotech ecosystem.”

Hans Schambye, CEO of Galecto, said: “We are delighted to once again count on Novo Seeds’ support and look forward to continue working with this group of renowned investors in shaping the future of the company. Together with our existing cash balance, this raise will enable the continuing development of Galecto, including advancing our promising GB0139 product candidate, which has orphan drug designation in both the U.S. and EU, towards market. This financing will also support the further expansion of our clinical development as we aim to have three Phase 2 studies running by the end of 2020. We are looking forward to advancing our products through clinical development and potentially to market to address significant unmet medical needs.”

Galecto intends to use the funds to prepare for a potential conditional approval of GB0139 for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) in the European Union and to further expand and advance its clinical development pipeline. Galecto is currently conducting a Phase 2b trial of GB0139 in IPF and intends to initiate Phase 2 studies of GB1211 in liver fibrosis related to Non-Alcoholic SteatoHepatitis (NASH) and GB2064 in Myelofibrosis by the end of this year.

The financing was led by Soleus Capital and co-led by Eir Ventures, with the participation of Novo Holdings, and new and existing investors including: OrbiMed, Ysios Capital, HBM Healthcare Investments, Sunstone Capital, Bristol Myers Squibb, Seventure, Maverick Ventures,Cormorant Asset Management, Janus Henderson Investors, Hadean Capital, Sphera, Asymmetry Capital Management and Canica.