By Marie Daghlian
European companies closed significant financing rounds in the first week of 2011 as four companies raised close to $278 million, a good sign that their fortunes may be looking up in the coming year.
The largest funding, and the largest financing ever for a private European biotech company, was completed by Danish biotech Symphogen, a company developing antibody therapeutics to treat cancer, and infectious and autoimmune diseases. The Copenhagen-based company closed a $134 million (€100 million) placement of preferred stock to a group of investors led by Novo A/S. The round also included Essex Woodlands Fund VIII and the Danish Pension Fund PKA, which joined as a new investor. The funding will be disbursed in three tranches.
Symphogen intends to use the proceeds to accelerate advancement of its lead clinical oncology product Sym004, currently in an early stage trial in patients with advanced solid tumors, as well as its other clinical and preclinical oncology opportunities both for proprietary pursuit and partnering. The company has partnerships with Genentech and Japanese pharma Meiji Seika Kaisha.
Sym004 is a recombinant IgG1 antibody product consisting of two antibodies against the epidermal growth factor receptor and inhibits cancer cells by three separate and complimentary mechanisms of actions—ligand binding, activation and subsequent downstream signaling of the EGF receptor. It also induces rapid and efficient internalization and degradation of the EGF receptor causing immune-mediated killing of the cancer cells.
Dutch medical device company PneumRx closed a series C funding of $33 million led by Forbion Capital Partners in an oversubscribed offering that included a syndicate of existing investors. The company has developed a minimally invasive device intended to improve lung function in emphysema patients by bronchoscopically implanting Nitinol coils into the lungs to compress damaged tissue and restore elastic recoil to the lung. It offers an alternative to lung volume reduction surgery, and works independently of collateral ventilation. More than 1,500 of its devices have been implanted to date in over 170 procedures. Its system is CE marked and is currently available in select markets in Europe, with plans for broader expansion.
PneumRx plans to use the funds to expand European commercialization and to conduct an FDA-approved pivotal clinical trial in order to get approval to sell its device in the United States.
Paris-based biotech DBV Technologies raised $25.5 million (€19.4 million) in a series C round led by new investors InnoBio Fund and Lundbeckfond Ventures, with participation by Shire, ALTO Invest, Sofinnova Partners and ALK Abello DBV Technologies is developing products to combat food allergies such as peanut and milk. Its products are designed to deliver allergens through a skin patch.
Danish biotech LifeCycle Pharma completed its fully subscribed rights offering of almost 4 million new shares to raise $85 million, in a strong show of support by many new investors. The funds will be used primarily to complete its late-stage program of LCP-Tacro, a once-daily formulation of the immunosuppressant drug tacrolimus. The formulation incorporates LifeCycle Pharma’s technology to improve bioavailability and provide consistent pharmacokinetic performance and reduced peak-to-trough variability when compared to currently approved tacrolimus. The company has two ongoing trials, one in stable kidney transplant patients and one in newly transplanted patients.
Danish biopharma Santaris Pharma expanded its strategic alliance with Pfizer (PFE) and landed $14 million upfront with a potential $600 million more in developmental milestones. Their collaboration is focused on the development and commercialization of RNA-targeted drugs using Santaris’ Locked Nucleic Acid drug platform.
Under the terms of the expanded agreement, Pfizer will pay $14 million for access to Santaris’ technology for the development of RNA-targeted drugs. Santaris is eligible to receive milestone payments of up to $600 million as well as royalties on sales of products that may be developed for up to 10 new RNA targets selected by Pfizer.
The deal builds on the original collaboration formed in January 2009 between Santaris Pharma and Wyeth, which was later acquired by Pfizer. Under the terms of the original collaboration, Santaris received an upfront payment of $7 million and an equity investment of $10 million. Santaris will still be eligible to receive milestones and royalties under the original alliance, under which Pfizer has advanced several programs and reached a number of early milestones since its inception.
DEALS FOR THE WEEK ENDING JANUARY 7, 2011
|Global Venture Financings|
|Company||Location||Amount Raised (USD M)||Principal Activity|
|ReCyte Therapeutics||Alameda, CA||4.0||Stem cells/banking|
|Genocea Biosciences||Cambridge, MA||35.0||T-cell-based vaccines|
|Gliknik||Baltimore, MD||3.5||Cancer; autoimmune|
|PneumRx||Naarden, The Netherlands||33.0||Respiratory|
|Symphogen||Copenhagen, Denmark||134.0||Antibody therapeutics|
|PanOptica||Mount Arlington, NJ||30.0||Ophthalmology|
|EyeGate Pharma||Waltham, MA||5.9||Ophthalmology|
|DBV Technologies||Paris, France||25.5||Allergy immunotherapies|
|Aratana Therapeutics||Kansas City, KS||20.0||Animal health|
|Graftys||Aix-en-Provence, France||5.3||Bone tissue engineering|
|CardioInsight Technologies||Cleveland, OH||4.0||Electrocardiograp imaging|
|23andMe||Mountain View, CA||9.0||Personal genomics|
|Sera Prognostics||Salt Lake City, UT||1.4||Women's health|
|Augmenix||Waltham, MA||3.0||Radiation oncology|
|Doctors Research Group||Southbury, CT||7.7||Bone cement for cranial defects|
|Total Raised US||128.1|
|Total Raised Non-US||197.8|
|Company||Funding/Contracting Agency||Amount Raised (USD M)||Principal Activity|
|ChromaDex||National Science Foundation Phase II SBIR||0.5||Anthocyanins for use in nutraceuticals|
|Acceleron Pharma||Muscular Dystrophy Association||1.5||MS drugs|
|Constellation Pharmaceuticals||Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation||1.0||Cancer drugs|
|Epizyme||Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation||1.0||Cancer drugs|
|Karyopharm Therapeutics||Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation||1.0||Cancer drugs|
|Virent Energy Systems||Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation||0.5||Cellulosic biofuels|
|HCL CleanTech||Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation||0.5||Cellulosic biofuels|
Raised (USD M)
|Zhendong Pharma (China)||SZ:300158||211||IPO|
|Uluru||NYSE Amex:ULU||0.5||Registered Direct|
|Adventrx Pharmaceuticals||NYSE Amex:ANX||22.5||Registered Direct|
|Kangmei Pharma (China)||SHEX:60051||529.0||Follow on|
|Amarin (Ireland)||AMRN||100.2||Follow on|
|LifeCycle Pharma (Denmark)||OMX:LCP||85.0||Rights offering|
|Advanced Cell Technology||OTC:ACTC||4.0||$25M non-convertible stock purchase agreement|
|SeraCare Life Sciences||SRLS||20.0||Credit facility|
|NMT Medical||NMTI||2.0||Credit facility|
|Total Public Financings-US||417.7|
|Total Public Financings-Non-US||925.2|
|Acquirer||Target||Deal Value |
|Hologic||Interlace Medical||125.0||Medical devices|
|Aceto||Rising Pharmaceuticals||80.0||Drug distributor|
|Footstar||CPEX Pharmaceuticals||76.6||Specialty pharma|
|Boston Scientific||IntElect Medical||60.0||Deep brain stimulation|
|Meda (Sweden)||GlaxoSmithKline (United Kingdom)||26.0||OTC products|
|Merck KGaA (Germany)||Beijing Skywing Technology (China)||18.2||Tools/Technology|
|Beijing Double-Crane Pharma (China)||Shenyang Enshi Pharma (China)||13.7||Antibiotics|
|Lab21 (United Kingdom)||Microgen Bioproducts (United Kingdom)||N/A||Diagnostics|
|Company/Licenser||Company/Licensee||Deal Value |
|Santaris Pharma (Denmark)||Pfizer||614.0||mRNA and microRNA|
|Seattle Genetics||Pfizer||208.0||Antibody drug conjugates|
|Immutep (France)||GlaxoSmithKline (United Kingdom)||100.0||Autoimmune|
|Ligand Pharmaceuticals||Chiva Pharmaceuticals||100.0||Drug development|
|Apricus Biosciences||Elis Pharma (UAE)||2.1||Genitourinary|
|Siemens (Germany)||PositiveID||N/A||Digital Health|
|Response Biomedical (Canada)||Cremascoli & Iris (Italy)||N/A||Cardiac POC tests|
|BG Medicine||Siemens Healthcare (Germany)||N/A||Diagnostics|
|Albany Molecular Research||Genentech/Roche (Switzerland)||N/A||Antibacterials|
|Kiadis Pharma (Netherlands)||Hospira||N/A||Hematology|
|Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals||Cellular Dynamics||N/A||Stem cells|
|Kinaxo Biotechnologies (Germany)||AstraZeneca (United Kingdom)||N/A||Oncology|
|Synageva BioPharma||to-BBB (Netherlands)||N/A||Brain drug delivery|
|X-Body BioSciences||Mercator Therapeutics||N/A||Oncology|
|Spirogen (United Kingdom)||Genentech/Roche (Switzerland)||N/A||Antibody drug conjugates|
|Receptos||Eli Lilly||N/A||GPCR modulators|
|Receptos||Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals (J&J)||N/A||GPCR technology|
|Amgen||MedImmune (AstraZeneca-United Kingdom)||N/A||Anti-inflammatory|
|Sutro Biopharma||Pfizer||N/A||Peptide-based therapeutics|