Nijmegen, The Netherlands, June 19, 2012 – Xenikos BV (“Xenikos”) has completed a EUR 3.6
million Series A financing round with strategic partner Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation
(“Sanquin”), Participatiemaatschappij Oost Nederland N.V., and Innovation & Investment Fund
Gelderland B.V. In addition, Xenikos has secured a EUR 1.9 million Innovation Credit granted by
Agentschap NL, an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economy, Agriculture and Innovation.
Xenikos is developing a combination of two toxin-loaded anti-T-cell antibodies, T-Guard™, as a
therapeutic tool for resetting the body’s immune system in T-cell mediated diseases. Once
injected in the body, T-Guard™ specifically identifies and eliminates adult T cells, with a strong
preference for the activated ones (the ‘trouble makers’). Following a one-week therapy, T-
Guard™ is then swiftly washed out of the body, and the T cell compartment will be rapidly
restored with newly formed, normal behaving, T cells. T-Guard™ is not only very effective in
killing activated T cells, but also acts through mechanisms that are associated with minimal
side effects (via apoptosis). Moreover, due to T-Guard’s short half-life and narrow specificity
(leaving immune bystander cells unharmed), patients are rendered less vulnerable to
opportunistic infections as compared to currently available treatment options.
As a first application, T-Guard™ is being developed for treating steroid-resistant acute Graft-
versus-Host Disease (GVHD), a potentially life-threatening complication occurring in about 50%
of all patients receiving a donor blood stem cell transplant. T-Guard™ was initially developed at
the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC), where it was tested in a clinical
pilot-study in critically ill GVHD patients. T-Guard™ demonstrated promising results, showing
extensive biological and clinical responses in the absence of any severe acute side effects.
Because of this, T-Guard was awarded a European Orphan Product Designation for treating GVHD
The financing will be used to support the manufacturing of clinical grade product at Sanquin,
and the subsequent clinical testing of T-Guard™ in a Dutch multicenter Phase Ib/IIa study in
patients with severe acute GVHD not responding on steroid-therapy. The financing will also
support the exploratory evaluation of T-Guard™ in xenograft (human-mouse) models of selected
autoimmune diseases in which T-cells are involved.
Peter van Mourik will join Xenikos’ Executive Board as co-statutory director. His long-standing
experience as former Managing Director of Sanquin Pharmaceutical Services is considered a
crucial asset for a successful further development of T-Guard’s manufacturing processes and all
quality related issues.
Tytonis BV, The Netherlands, an independent advisory firm for commercial transactions in the
life sciences, supported Xenikos and Sanquin during the commercial diligence evaluation.
During the early fases, Xenikos was supported by the Technology Transfer Office of RUNMC and
Gelderland Knowledge Foundation, which provided business development advice and a pre-
Mr. Theo Buunen, Chairman Executive Board of Sanquin said, “Entering into a strategic alliance
with Xenikos will provide Sanquin with an opportunity to co-develop a new generation of
biopharmaceuticals strengthening Sanquin’s position in the field of clinical immunology.”
Dr. Ypke van Oosterhout, CEO of Xenikos said, “The strong commitment of PPM Oost, and
Sanquin’s unique network and know-how in the fields of immunohematology and
biopharmaceutical process development, will certainly help us speeding up T-Guard’s route to
Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation ensures the safe and efficient blood supply in the
Netherlands. Sanquin also develops and produces pharmaceutical products, conducts high-
quality scientific research relating to blood transfusion medicine and immunology in the
broadest sense, and develops and performs a multitude of diagnostic services.
About PPM Oost and IIG
Participatiemaatschappij Oost Nederland NV (PPM Oost) invests public money in promising
companies that are contributing to a flourishing economy in the East Netherlands, especially in
the food, health and technology sectors. PPM Oost has invested in more than 150 companies.
PPM Oost also manages and executes the Provincial Innovation and Investment Fund Gelderland
(IIG), a recently established revolving fund that focuses on the strategic areas Food, Health,
Energy and Environmental Technology.
About Agentschap NL and the Innovation Credit Scheme
Agentschap NL is an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and
Innovation that promotes sustainable development and innovation with various financial
instruments. The Innovation Credit is aimed at supporting high risk, and commercially
attractive, technical or clinical development projects.
Dr. Ypke van Oosterhout, CEO
T: +23 24 300 100
Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation
Mr. Robert Heckert
T: +31 20 512 3000
PPM Oost/IIG B.V.
Mr. Pieter Rhemrev
T: +31 26 384 40 44
Agentschap NL, Innovation Credits
Drs. Elisabeth Schless
T: +31 88 602 4631