CatalYm Announces Key Management and Board Changes
Dr. Manfred Ruediger steps down as Chief Executive Officer of CatalYm
• Dr. John Haurum succeeds Dr. Holger Reithinger as Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Munich, Germany, March 1st, 2021 – CatalYm GmbH, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer immunotherapies, today announced changes to the management team and supervisory board. Dr. Manfred Ruediger stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of CatalYm with effect from 28 February 2021 to pursue new business opportunities. The company is in the process of recruiting a new CEO. In the meantime, Anne Burger, CFO of CatalYm, will take responsibility for the company as Managing Director.
Dr. Holger Reithinger is stepping down as Chairman of the Supervisory Board following the successful completion of the Series B financing round and the broadened investor consortium. As Partner of Forbion, he was one of the founding investors and fulfilled the role of Chairman and Supervisory Board member since the inception of CatalYm mid-2016. He is now handing over the position to Dr. John Haurum MD, as independent chairman.
Dr. Haurum has over 20 years’ experience in the international biotech industry. Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer of F-star, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of novel bispecific antibodies, which entered multiple strategic collaborations including Denali and Merck KGaA under his leadership. Dr. Haurum is also serving on the boards of Agomab, Neophore, Storm Therapeutics, Synact and Synklino.
Since 2017, Dr. Ruediger has built an outstanding team at CatalYm and collaborated with the founder’s team to establish that neutralizing GDF-15 is one of the key immune escape mechanisms in a broad range of tumor types and to develop the Company’s lead molecule CTL-002 to clinical proof-of-concept. During his tenure, CatalYm raised over EUR 56 million, and the first patients were treated with CTL-002 in the clinical Phase I trial in late 2020.
Dr. Manfred Ruediger stated “I would like to thank the dedicated CatalYm team for their contribution and support; I wish them and Dr. Haurum as new Chairman much success in their efforts to develop these highly innovative anti-GDF-15 cancer immunotherapies. I also want to thank the existing and new investors for their support. With a strong vested interest in the future success, I will continue to follow this Company while focusing myself on new projects that are calling for science and management expertise and relevant guidance.”
Dr. Holger Reithinger, outgoing Chairman of CatalYm’s Supervisory Board said “It has been a privilege to develop CatalYm with Manfred over the last three years and to reach this riveting stage with a cutting-edge therapy in clinical development and a strong cash position. Manfred’s in-depth experience in management as well as his excellent knowledge of IO drug development leaves a strong team very well placed for the future. We thank him for his substantial contributions to CatalYm and we are happy that he is prepared to remain an advisor to the Company. It was an exciting time as Chairman and I’m happy to hand over the Company to John in such excellent shape.”
Dr. John Haurum commented “I wish to congratulate Manfred, Holger and the team on their achievements at CatalYm and am excited to support the Company during these exciting times and the next stages of development. I believe the company is exceptionally well positioned for success in its clinical program and that the anti-GDF-15 monoclonal antibody CTL-002 holds the promise of a revolutionizing first-in-class immunotherapy of cancer.”
CatalYm is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer immunotherapies targeting Growth-and-Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF-15). Apart from its established role in cachexia, GDF-15 has been associated with immunosuppression in tissues and tumors and a rapidly growing body of literature supports the concept that GDF-15 is a major T cell repellent. CatalYm aims to neutralize GDF-15 to turn “cold” tumors “hot” and thereby substantially improving the efficacy of established immunotherapy such as anti-PD1/-PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors. The company’s lead product candidate CTL-002, a neutralizing GDF-15 antibody, is currently under clinical evaluation in a two-part, open-label, multicenter, Phase I clinical trial (GDFATHER trial).
The Company was founded in 2016 as a spin-off from the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg based on the innovative research work of Prof. Dr. Joerg Wischhusen. CatalYm is led by a seasoned senior executive team with substantial IO drug development as well as deal making experience and backed by international venture capital investors, e.g. Forbion and BioGeneration Ventures, Vesalius Biocapital III, Novartis Venture Fund, Wachstumsfonds Bayern and coparion. CatalYm also received financial support from the EIF via the EIB-EIF Co-investment Facility, backed by the European Union through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).