Commit Biologics has emerged from stealth with €16m ($17.2m) in seed money to develop antibody therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases using its bispecific complement engaging (BiCE) platform.

The lead investors included Novo Nordisk’s holding and investment company, Novo Holdings, along with European venture capital firm, Bioqube Ventures. The Danish biotech was founded in 2021 as a spinout from Aarhus University and was initially incubated at the BioInnovation Institute in Denmark, which receives funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Commit CEO, Krishna Polu explained the workings of its platform: “Our BiCE platform gives us the ability to engage the complement system so that it attacks targeted cells in a highly selective manner.”

“This platform also means we can use established antibodies, which cuts development times and reduces risk, to develop best-in-class therapeutics. This is a novel way of harnessing the immune system to tackle cancer and autoimmune disease, and we are confident in the tremendous potential it offers.”

Antibody therapies, including antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), have been an area of interest in recent years and have seen multiple high-value deals. In October 2023, Merck & Co signed a licencing deal for three ADC therapies with Daiichi Sankyo worth up to $22bn.

In November 2023, AbbVie purchased ADC specialist ImmunoGen for $10.1bn. The US pharma giant doubled down on investments in this area and signed a $375m deal with BigHat Biosciences to identify and develop antibody therapies, in December 2023.

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As per Commit, its BiCE platform can potentially decrease the conventional limitations of antibody therapies such as toxicities, specific target density considerations, and T-cell exhaustion (in the case of T-cell therapies).

In December 2023, Novo Holdings invested in another Danish startup, Hoba Therapeutics. The company’s lead candidate is non-opioid therapy, a recombinant human meteorin HB-086. Other candidates in Hoba’s pipeline include HP-086 and HP-097, both of which are being developed to treat hearing loss.