What we do
ETCI: European Tech Champions Initiative
Scale-up financing gap
ETCI milestones and events
News and multimedia
Institutional investors
Equity products
AI Co-Investment Facility
Impact investing at the EIF
Climate & Infrastructure Funds
Technology Transfer
European Angels Fund (EAF) - Co-investments with Business Angels
Venture capital
The Social Impact Accelerator (SIA)
Lower mid-market
Mezzanine Facility for Growth
EFSI Equity instrument
Single EU Equity Financial Instrument
COSME - Equity Facility for Growth
InnovFin Equity
Private equity secondary market transactions
EIF-NPI Equity Platform
ESCALAR Programme
Debt products
New ESIF ERDF Guarantee Fund initiative in Greece
EFSI Private Credit Programme
AGRI Guarantee Facility
AGRI Italy Platform Uncapped Guarantee Instrument
Credit enhancement
Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS GF)
ENSI - Securitisation Initiative
Erasmus+ Master Loan Guarantee Facility
Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot
EREM debt products
Single EU Debt Financial Instrument
Documentary Finance Facility – Bulgaria
The SME Initiative
The SME Initiative Bulgaria
The SME Initiative Finland
The SME Initiative Italy
The SME Initiative Malta
The SME Initiative Romania
The SME Initiative Spain
Inclusive finance
EaSI Financial Instruments
EaSI Capacity Building Investments Window
EaSI Guarantee Instrument
EaSI Funded Instrument
European Progress Microfinance Facility
Entrepreneurs supported through Progress Microfinance
European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
How does EIF contribute to EFSI
How to apply for EFSI financing
Regional Development - Country and sector-specific initiatives
Normandie Garantie Agri
FAIRE - La Réunion
Auvergne Rhône-Alpes FEADER
Recovery Equity Fund of Funds of Bulgaria
Fons d’Inversió en Tecnologia Avançada (FITA) Catalonia
Dutch Future Fund (DFF)
Dutch Alternative Credit Instrument (DACI)
PORTUGAL BLUE: a new initiative for blue economy investments
JEREMIE Greece Reflows – Business Angels’ Co-Investment Equity Instrument
German Corona Matching Facility (CMF)
Portugal Growth programme
Central and Eastern European Technology Transfer (CEETT)
Croatian Growth Investment Programme (CROGIP) II
Croatian Growth Investment Programme (CROGIP)
Croatian Venture Capital Initiative 2 (CVCi 2)
AGRI Italy Platform Uncapped Guarantee Instrument
ALTER’NA – ESIF EARFD Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Baltic Innovation Fund 1 (BIF 1)
Baltic Innovation Fund 2 (BIF 2)
Central Europe Fund of Funds (CEFoF)
Croatian Venture Capital Initiative (CVCi FoF)
Competitiveness Fund-of-Funds for SMEs in Romania
The Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund (CYPEF)
Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Initiative East Guarantee Facility (DCFTA)
EU4Business Capped Guarantee
Dutch Growth Co-Investment Programme
Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI-II)
ESIF Fund-of-Funds Greece
EAFRD FoF Portugal
EAFRD FoF Romania
The ERP-EIF Facility
ERP-EIF Co-Investment Growth Facility
The LfA-EIF Facilities
The German Future Fund (GFF) - EIF Growth Facility
INAF – French National Agricultural Initiative
ESIF Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Malta
Regional Fund-of-Funds Romania
ESIF Fund-of-Funds Czech Republic
The Silesia EIF Fund of Funds
La Financière Région Réunion
The EIB Group Risk Enhancement Mandate (EREM)
Call for Expression of Interest for FOSTER II
Greater Anatolia Guarantee Facility (GAGF)
G43 - Anatolian Venture Capital Fund Project
InvestBG Equity Instrument
Romania Recovery Equity Fund of Funds
JEREMIE Romania Reflows – Equity Instrument
Luxembourg Future Fund 1 (LFF)
Luxembourg Future Fund 2
Mezzanine 'Fund of Fund' for Germany (MDD)
NEOTEC resources
Polish Growth Fund of Funds (PGFF)
Portugal Venture Capital Initiative (PVCi)
Scottish-European Growth Co-Investment Programme
Slovene Equity Growth Investment Programme (SEGIP)
Swedish Venture Initiative (SVI)
Turkish Growth and Innovation Fund (TGIF)
Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF)
EAFRD FoF Greece
Irish Innovation Seed Fund (IISF)
RRF Czech Republic Fund of Funds

Celeris Therapeutics: AI-driven protein degradation


"It's about benefiting people, about contributing to alleviating incurable diseases - that's the reason we all get up every morning," says Jakob Hohenberger, co-founder of Celeris Therapeutics.

CelerisTx is a global acting biotech company with promising assets and results. CelerisTx uses AI-driven technologies to design molecules to degrade proteins that cause diseases like Parkinson's and various cancers.

"Currently, very few pathogenic proteins are 'druggable,'" says Jakob. "The main approach, occupancy-driven inhibitors, de-activates such 'bad proteins,' but only around 10-20% can be effectively de-activated. We target the other 80-90%, aiming to degrade rather than de-activate them."

Designing such molecules is hard, and our AI-based platform comes into play here. "New chemical entities are difficult to develop for the industry as a whole," he adds.

Using machine learning, CelerisTx designs and develops molecules that will eventually evolve into medicines that, in turn, will cure these debilitating diseases by degrading the proteins that cause them.

"It's 2022, and there's no curative treatment for Parkinson's," Jakob says.

Jakob, who is no stranger to start-ups, has co-founded multiple tech companies and started Celeris in 2020 with the conviction that he wanted to go into life sciences. "I was very interested in life sciences, researched different topics, evaluated the market, and had already made the decision to build a biotech company before co-founding Celeris." Co-founder and CEO Christopher Trummer, who has a background in biotech and computer sciences, "was the perfect match, had a concrete idea and a plan - which fitted with my background - and here we are today."

The team was accompanied from the earliest steps by well-known professors on the Scientific Advisory Board and attracted great talents from across the globe to implement its mission.

The company, which now also has a presence in the Silicon Valley, has just closed a seed funding round that includes an investment from the Luxembourg-based and EIF-backed i&i Biotech Fund, which is dedicated to accelerating the company's R&D efforts toward the preclinical and clinical development: "We started in 2020 in a dry-lab, working on the technology, coding and trying things out. But now we are establishing a wet lab in Graz, and the team is expanding with 25 new employees. We're collaborating with some big pharma companies and co-develop or possibly even independently bring a drug to market one day."

Location: Graz, Austria

Financial intermediary: i&i Biotech Fund

SME: Celeris Therapeutics

Sector: biotechnology

Number of employees: 18

Financing purpose: R&D

EU Financing: InnovFin Equity; EGF

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Austria, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/at

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


Copyright ©

 European Investment Fund   – The European Investment Fund is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.