The immune system protects our body against bacteria, viruses and other external threats to our health. Dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role by recognizing such pathogens, processing them and training other immune cells to act against them. At the same time, DCs are also responsible for tolerating the body’s own structures (autoantigens). This complex interaction is achieved by an „orchestra“ of different types of DCs. Cutanos aims to use these mechanisms to develop both vaccines and therapies against autoimmune diseases and allergies.

xista team

profile photo
Markus Wanko

The last decade has seen unprecedented advances in understanding and harnessing the capabilities of the human immune system. Novel vaccines and immunotherapies against cancer and auto-immune diseases have been developed and a broad range of therapeutic projects are currently being pursued.

Delivery of antigen to specialized immune cells, called dendritic cells (DCs), is a promising approach. However, there are different subsets of DCs which can process the delivered antigen in different, sometimes adverse ways. This unspecific uptake can cause unwanted side effects, unnecessary off-target distribution and, as a consequence, reduced efficacy. Cutanos develops a highly modular antigen delivery platform that only targets one specific type of DCs - Langerhans cells. This way, drug load can be reduced, efficacy increased and antigen delivery can be controlled in unprecedented ways. Additionally, since Langerhans cells reside in the upper layers of the skin, antigens can be delivered with minimal-invasive, “needle free” techniques.

The technology has initially been developed in Christoph Rademachers lab at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces and the University of Vienna. Robert Wawrzinek, a key contributor to this technology, has moved from academia to start and lead this venture.  

We decided to invest as this represents an enabling platform technology in a very promising therapeutic field, with applications in anti- as well as tolerogenic fields. We can contribute to the success, for instance by arranging access to pre-clinical facilities, providing advice on IP and licensing, or tapping into our network to provide scientific advisors – in this case we are very glad that Christian Mandl, the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of IVI (International Vaccine Institute) agreed to join the board.

Pitch your idea

Investment process

1. Share your Information

Use the form to tell us about your startup. Our team will review the details provided and will get back to you as soon as possible. If you meet the required criteria, we’ll plan together the next steps of your funding journey.

2. Start the financing process

We start by inviting you to a meeting and gather more information relevant to conducting a due diligence process, evaluating your business plans, growth strategy, and financial forecasts. Together, we analyze and determine the essential details and deal structure to meet your unique financing requirements.

3. Raise capital

If we invest, we will likely lead your funding round and will help you to fill your round and guide you through the process. From round preparations to execution, our team is here to support you, ensuring a smooth and successful experience.

4. Go beyond financing

We will be your partner in everything you encounter while executing your plans. We offer continuous support and guidance as we firmly believe long-term succes is a shared mission.