About us

Catapult Therapeutics is a privately held Dutch biotech company developing CAP-100 – an innovative first-in-class humanized anti-CCR7 antibody.

The chemokine receptor CCR7 is over-expressed in many cancers, and high CCR7 expression is associated with poor prognosis and short survival in hematological and solid malignancies. Preclinical studies have shown that the anti-CCR7 antibody can prolong survival and inhibit cancer cell migration in multiple animal models of B-cell and T-cell lymphomas.

CAP-100 has a uniquely differentiated mechanism of action, which is complementary to current standard of care treatments for hematological malignancies. Thus, CAP-100 is a potential monotherapy and can be used in combination with current standard treatments.

CAP-100 is currently in preclinical development and will be IND ready by end of 2019.

Catapult Therapeutics was established in 2015 as a joint venture between Spanish and Dutch partners. Catapult is founded on the discoveries of Dr Cecilia Munoz and her group at Hospital La Princesa in Madrid. They identified and validated CCR7 as a therapeutic target for leukemias and lymphomas. Technology of Dutch biotech company Pepscan made it possible to generate antibodies against human CCR7.

The target:

CCR7

Chemokines are proteins that orchestrate cell trafficking into and from lymphoid organs and tissues in homeostatic and pathological conditions. The chemokine receptor CCR7 is essential for trafficking of cells to lymph nodes, where its ligands CCL19 and CCL21 are expressed.

In cancer, tumor cells may hijack the chemokine pathway by expressing chemokine receptors, allowing them to migrate to distant sites. CCR7 is over-expressed in many hematological malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. CCR7 expression is high, regardless of the severity of the disease at diagnosis, high-risk factors (e.g. patients with a chromosome 17p deletion) or prior treatments with other agents.

CCR7 drives migration of tumor cells to the lymph node. In this protective microenvironment, CCR7 ligands promote tumor cell survival and proliferation. CCR7-mediated migration of chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells correlates positively with clinical lymphadenopathy and adverse prognostic factors.

Thus, strategies targeting CCR7 provide a novel therapeutic approach for CCR7-positive hematological malignancies, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Chemokine receptors are very challenging targets to generate antibodies against. Technology developed by the Dutch biotech company Pepscan made it possible to generate a panel of potent anti-CCR7 antibodies, including CAP-100. Catapult has chosen to follow an antibody approach because it provides:

  • Fab-mediated inhibition of migration to the lymph node and tumor microenvironment
  • Fc-mediated tumor cell killing
  • High selectivity (no off-target toxicity).

The product:

CAP-100

CAP-100 is a first-in-class humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to human CCR7 and neutralizes ligand-mediated signaling through both CCL19 and CCL21. Preclinical studies have demonstrated CAP-100’s unique ability to effectively block migration of tumor cells to lymph nodes, induce tumor cell killing (antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity), and inhibit tumor cell survival in the lymph node.

The CAP-100 antibody has effectively inhibited migration and survival of primary tumor cells from patients with human chronic lymphocytic leukemia or non-Hodgkin lymphoma tumors. Furthermore, preclinical studies in animal models have shown that CAP-100 inhibits entry of CCR7-expressing cells into the lymph nodes. CAP-100 also killed chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells while preserving normal blood cells. This Fc-mediated antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) clearly outperformed the standard of care rituximab, which targets CD20.

The anti-tumor effects of CAP-100 (ADCC and migration inhibition) were both independent of prognostic markers for high-risk disease, such as a TP53 mutation, 17p deletion, and resistance to various standard therapies. Finally, CAP-100 monotherapy inhibited tumor growth in disseminated non-Hodgkin lymphoma xenograft tumors, and significantly improved survival in multiple animal models of B-cell lymphomas.

Blocking tumor cell migration to the lymph nodes together with potent tumor cell killing is a unique mechanisms of action, which is complementary to current standard treatments for hematological malignancies. This means that CAP-100 can not only be used as a monotherapy, but also in combination with current standards of care for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Catapult is developing its first-in-class human anti-CCR7 antibody, CAP-100, to treat CCR7-positive hematological malignancies. We will treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia with the CAP-100 antibody as the first clinical proof of concept. CAP-100 may also be an effective treatment for other CCR7-expressing B- and T-cell leukemias and lymphomas. In addition, recent advances in immune oncology have opened-up potential applications for CAP-100 in treating solid tumors.

CAP-100 is currently in preclinical development and will be IND ready by end of 2019.

Our team

Catapult Therapeutics is led by an experienced team of managers and scientists from the Netherlands and Spain. Catapult Therapeutics was established in 2015 as a joint venture between Spanish and Dutch partners.

Wim Mol (PhD)

Chief Executive Officer

Wim Mol has 30 years of international experience in general management, commercial, and research and development positions in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

Before joining Catapult Therapeutics in 2017, he was CEO at Pepscan, which he transitioned from a hybrid R&D/services organization into a fast-growing profitable peptide services company. Before Pepscan, he was vice president of Schering-Plough, where he was responsible for the global scientific development and commercialization of a phase III asset. Prior to that, he held multiple executive roles within the Organon group, including executive director of global marketing for the women’s health franchise, general manager of a joint venture between Organon and Sanofi in the USA, and country manager positions in Chili and the Netherlands. Dr Mol has an MSc in pharmacy and a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Groningen.

Wim Mol has 30 years of international experience in general management, commercial, and development positions in pharma and biotech… Read more

Ton Adang (PhD)

Program Manager

Ton Adang has worked in research and development for several pharmaceutical companies, including MSD, Schering-Plough, and Organon, in positions of increasing responsibility.

He held leadership positions in the lead discovery unit and in project management, developing a product through FDA approval and targeting new indications like breast cancer and osteoporosis, and worked with human vaccines, biosimilars, and immune oncology. He received his PhD from the Divisions of Biopharmaceutical Sciences and Bioorganic Chemistry at the University of Leiden.

Ton Adang has worked in research and development for several pharmaceutical companies in positions of increasing responsibility… Read more

Wiebe Olijve (PhD)

Scientific Advisor

Wiebe Olijve is an experienced research leader who has developed a range of biotech applications throughout his career.

Until recently he was the CEO and co-founder of BioNovion (now Aduro Biotech Europe). Before that, he was vice president of Schering-Plough Biopharma (now Merck Research Laboratories). He also founded the Organon Research Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where antibodies against oncological and auto-immune diseases were developed. During this time, Dr Olijve led the project that discovered pembrolizumab (Keytruda) – a humanized antibody used in cancer immunotherapy. He also spent many years leading pioneering research programs at Organon, using genomic and bioinformatics approaches to identify therapeutic targets. These endeavors advanced research in the Netherlands and the United States. Dr Olijve has been a professor of Applied Biology at Radboud University in Nijmegen since 1990.

Wiebe Olijve is an experienced research leader who has developed a range of biotech applications throughout his career… Read more

Carlos Cuesta-Mateos (PhD)

Head of Preclinical Research

Carlos Cuesta-Mateos is a senior scientist with over 15 years of experience in onco-hematology and onco-immunology.

He has an MSc in biology from the Complutentese University of Madrid, a PhD in immunology from the Autónoma University of Madrid, and trained as a clinical immunologist at La Princesa Hospital Madrid. Dr Cuesta-Mateos has worked in leadership positions at immunology laboratories in several clinical centers and as an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Medicine Faculty of the European University of Madrid. Currently he leads the target discovery/validation section and the flow cytometry platform.

Carlos Cuesta-Mateos is a senior scientist with over 15 years of experience in onco-hematology and onco-immunology… Read more

Fernando Terrón (MD, MBA)

Chairman of the Board

Fernando Terrón is a biotech entrepreneur, with almost 20 years’ entrepreneurial experience, and has been with Catapult since its inception.

He has also founded three other biotech companies: Biolty (a life sciences consultancy), Immed (oncology target discovery), and ProRetina Therapeutics (gene therapy in ophthalmology), and is a board member of Biotools (manufacturer of molecular biology reagents), and Imegen (genetic diagnostics in cancer and rare diseases). He has an MD from the University of Navarra in Spain and an MBA from Duke University in the USA.

Fernando Terrón is a biotech entrepreneur, with almost 20 years’ entrepreneurial experience, and has been with Catapult since its inception… Read more

Contact us

To stay in touch with Catapult Therapeutics or be contacted by our team, please fill in the form below.

Correspondence address:

Catapult Therapeutics B.V.
Zuidersluisweg 2,
8243 RC Lelystad, The Netherlands

Visiting address:

Catapult Therapeutics B.V.
Onderwijsboulevards 225,
5223 DE Den Bosch, The Netherlands

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