January 13, 2021

Novo Seeds’ portfolio company, IO Biotech, completes oversubscribed EUR 127m Series B financing to accelerate clinical programs in oncology

  • IO Biotech to accelerate the development of novel, immune-modulating anti-cancer therapies based on its proprietary T-win® technology

  • Novo Seeds created and launched IO Biotech with first seed investment in 2015

  • Participated in further financing alongside a strong syndicate of investors

Novo Seeds, the early-stage investment and company creation team of Novo Holdings, announced today that its portfolio company, IO Biotech, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, immune-modulating anti-cancer therapies based on its proprietary T-win® technology, has raised EUR 127 million in Series B financing.

On 15 December 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) granted IO Biotech breakthrough therapy designation (BTD) for a combination of IO Biotech’s lead immuno-oncology therapies, IO102 and IO103, with anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma. IO Biotech intends to use the proceeds from the financing to advance clinical trials for its early and late-stage immune-oncology programs, including a large randomized trial for IO102 and IO103 with anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies in metastatic melanoma.

Emmanuelle Coutanceau, Partner at Novo Seeds and IO Biotech Board Member said**:** “Having initially invested in IO Biotech at the seed stage in January 2014, we have supported the company throughout its journey and are delighted to continue as it reaches this milestone in its successful development. This very large financing round, involving a strong syndicate of well renowned investors, is a testament to IO Biotech’s team and the potential of its therapies for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.  For Novo Seeds, it represents another example of our company creation efforts, identifying and building world class companies that are developing innovative treatments for patients with unmet medical needs.”

“We are very pleased that Novo Seeds is supporting us once again alongside such a strong group of investors backing our company.  I am proud that this financing round had such a high interest and can close oversubscribed,” said Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, and founder of IO Biotech. “The funding will enable us to execute on our breakthrough therapy designation grant and advance our lead programs in late-stage clinical development, as we are committed to bringing our treatment to patients as soon as possible.”

The financing round was led by HBM Healthcare Investments with the participation of existing investors Novo Seeds, Lundbeckfonden Emerge and Sunstone Life Science Ventures. Other new investors joining the round included Vivo Capital, Kurma Partners, Avoro Capital, RA Capital, Samsara Biocapital, Idinvest Partners (Subsidiary of Eurazeo), PFM Health Sciences, Soleus Capital, Eir Ventures and Serrado Capital.

About IO Biotech
IO Biotech is a clinical stage biotech company developing disruptive immune therapies for the treatment of cancer. The pipeline of first-in-class immune modulating anti-cancer therapies is developed by a unique technology platform, T-win®, enabling the activation of T cells that are specific for immune-suppressive molecules. IO Biotech has a proven track record of progressing preclinical and clinical compounds. The two lead compounds targeting IDO and PD-L1 are in clinical development and several pipeline compounds are in pre-clinical phase. For further information, please visit:

About IO102 and IO103
IO102 and IO103 are IO Biotech’s lead immuno-oncology candidates. Both compounds are based on IO Biotech’s proprietary T-win® technology platform which enables the identification of compounds with a dual mechanism of action targeting and directly killing immunosuppressive cells and tumor cells while indirectly activating other T-effectors, leading to strong anti-tumor responses without adding additional safety concern. Specifically, IO102 and IO103 are first-in-class, immune modulatory vaccines designed to engage and activate IDO and PD-L1 specific human T-cells.

The US FDA’s decision to grant breakthrough therapy designation was based on data from the MM1636 Phase 1/2 clinical trial of 30 patients with metastatic melanoma receiving IO102, IO103 and anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies. According to the data recently presented in a late-breaking abstract at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020, the combination of IO102 and IO103 vaccines and nivolumab was shown to be safe with encouraging early efficacy data; an overall response rate (ORR) of 79 percent was reached and 45 percent of patients achieved a complete response (CR), or complete disappearance of their tumors. Vaccine specific T-cells were located in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and at the tumor site.