Cytovation raises $8 million in Series A extension financing round for clinical advancement of CyPep-1, a first-in-class targeted tumor membrane immunotherapy

Brings total Series A funding to over $28 million allowing CyPep-1 to advance into Phase 2 

Bergen, Norway, June 2, 2023 – Cytovation ASA, a clinical stage immune-oncology company focused on the development of its first-in-class targeted tumor membrane immunotherapy CyPep-1, announces the successful closing of its $8 million (NOK 85 million) Series A extension financing round. This new investment will support the progress of Cytovation’s lead asset, CyPep-1, into a full Phase 2 program for the treatment of solid tumors. 

CyPep-1 has the potential to transform the treatment of solid tumors through its unique multi-modal mechanism of action, eliminating cancer cells by: 

  •  targeting phospholipids in cancer cells, 
  •  forming pores in the plasma membrane, 
  •  releasing antigens to the immune system, 
  •  promoting an inflammatory microenvironment, and 
  •  inducing a tumor-specific immune response by in situ vaccination 

Lars Prestegarden, MD, PhD, CEO of Cytovation, commented: “We are delighted to announce the successful closing of this latest financing round following our initial $20 million Series A round in January 2022, allowing us to advance CyPep-1 towards clinical proof of concept in Phase 2. We continue to make excellent progress in our ongoing Phase 1/2 CICILIA solid tumor basket trial, and with our IND in hand we will now expand clinical development to the US. We look forward to announcing initial results from CICILIA, including in combination with pembrolizumab, in the second half of 2023.” 

The financing round extension was co-led by existing investors Sandwater, a Norwegian venture capital firm that invests in ground-breaking companies with a positive impact across a range of industries including life science, and Canica, a large, privately owned investment company operating out of Norway and Switzerland that is focused on building highly innovative companies that aim to create value for investors and society. Cytovation also welcomed participation from several new investors reflecting the growing interest in the potential of CyPep-1 as a first-in-class targeted tumor membrane immunotherapy. 

Cytovation’s 57-patient Phase 1/2 CICILIA solid tumor basket trial is now well advanced, with top line results due in H2 2023. The Phase 2a monotherapy expansion arm builds on strong Phase 1 monotherapy data, which demonstrated a favorable safety profile along with early signals of efficacy in several tumor types. CICILIA also includes an arm in which CyPep-1 is combined with pembrolizumab, as part of an ongoing clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Merck/MSD. 

Cytovation is seeking to develop CyPep-1 in selected neoplastic orphan indications that may allow an expedited pathway to a first approval, while supporting the broader potential of CyPep-1 across a range of solid tumors. 

Given the significant potential of CyPep-1, Cytovation recently announced the expansion of its senior management team with the hiring of Iman Barilero, PharmD, PhD, as Chief Development Officer, and 

Helen Blanco, MBA, as VP Operations. These new team members will be central to the Company’s mission to develop CyPep-1 to enhance the lives of cancer patients suffering from a variety of solid tumors. 

About Cytovation 

Cytovation ASA is a privately held, clinical stage immune-oncology company focused on the development of CyPep-1, a first-in-class immunotherapy targeting the cell membrane of tumor cells. 

CyPep-1 has a unique mechanism of action, eliminating cancer cells by forming pores in the plasma membrane, releasing antigens to the immune system, promoting an inflammatory microenvironment, and inducing a tumor-specific immune response by in situ vaccination. 

The company is a spin-off from the University of Bergen (Norway), the city where it is headquartered. For more information, please visit 

Contact Information 


Federico Grego, Chief Operating Officer: 

MEDiSTRAVA Consulting 

Frazer Hall / Mark Swallow / Evelyn McCormack: