ABSCINT focuses on diagnostics based on single domain antibodies
Brussels, Liège, Feb 10th 2021. A new VUB spin-off named ABSCINT NV was established. The spin-off is based on technology developed by the joint research efforts of the teams of Prof. Dr. Tony Lahoutte and Prof. Dr. Jo Van Ginderachter at VUB and VIB in Brussels. ABSCINT is a clinical stage molecular imaging company that develops diagnostics based on single domain antibodies. Single domain antibodies are unique molecules that were originally discovered at VUB and have been the basis of a number of successful biotech companies. ABSCINT will focus on the development of radiolabeled single domain antibodies for whole body molecular imaging applications. Molecular imaging is used for the diagnosis of disease, for treatment selection, and monitoring treatment response based on specific molecular markers that can be visualised over the entire body by a short scan. The company has two clinical stage products: one in oncology and one in cardiovascular disease.
The seed financing round was led by Qbic, whose strong ties in the Liège ecosystem facilitated Noshaq joining the group of investors. The financial support by Qbic, Noshaq, and VUB paved the way for ABSCINT to secure an R&D project with the financial support of the Walloon Region in the frame of the program initiated by BioWin, The Health Competitiveness cluster of Wallonia. Taken together, ABSCINT has access to a total of 2 million € to kick start its activities. Solid partnerships were also established with Xpress Biologics, IRE, UCL, and VUB in the framework of the BioWin grant.
ABSCINT has set up its operations in Liège, Belgium and appointed Karine Clauwaert as CEO together with Tony Lahoutte as Medical Director. The management team holds strong industry experience and expertise in the production of single domain antibodies, radiopharmaceuticals, and clinical translation of radiolabelled molecules.
Karine Clauwaert (CEO): “This financing puts us in an excellent position to accelerate the clinical development of our first products. Our technology is a platform that will bring diagnostic solutions in multiple diseases with high clinical needs. We have attracted a strong team and made strategic partnerships. With the support of our investors we will build our company and bring our products to market.”
Tony Lahoutte (Medical Director): “The single domain platform has shown to be very promising in our academic clinical Phase I and Phase II trials. I am excited to bring these compounds in an industrial track that should lead to market approval. The technology can have a significant impact on patient management in the near future.”
Marc Noppen, MD, PhD (CEO UZ Brussel): “Modern precision medicine and personalized treatments require (very) early, precision diagnoses. ABSCINT’s methodology (and the track record of its founders) are absolutely promising in fulfilling this need. This is why UZ Brussel endorses, and invests in, this endeavor.”
Jean Van Nuwenborg (Qbic): “Combining single domain antibodies with radioactivity could significantly advance diagnosis of a vast array of diseases and improve outcomes for these patients. Qbic is delighted to have brought together this solid group of seed investors and help the ABSCINT team advance its promising pipeline.”
Gaetan Servais (CEO Noshaq): “Our equity investment in ABSCINT represents a significant opportunity to participate in the development of what we believe is an exciting diagnostic technology for oncology and cardiovascular diseases. We are pleased to welcome the Company to set-up its operations in Liege with the objective to foster collaborations with other players in the region”.
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