Patricia Industries funds strategic add-on acquisition by Advanced Instruments

Investor

Advanced Instruments, a leading global provider of analytical instruments, consumables, software and services for the biopharmaceutical, clinical and food & beverage industries, has signed an agreement to acquire Artel, a leading provider of calibration and validation instruments, consumables, software and services used by life science laboratories.

The acquisition of Artel adds to Advanced Instruments a highly complementary, differentiated and innovative portfolio of liquid handling analytical instruments and consumables, and significantly expands the company’s R&D capabilities within the rapidly growing liquid handling market.

For the twelve-month period ending December 2021, Artel revenues and adjusted EBITDA were approximately USD 20m and USD 5m, respectively. Average annual growth for the past three years amounts to 17 percent.

The total consideration amounts to an upfront payment of approximately USD 85m on a cash- and debt-free basis, and additional payments of up to USD 55m subject to achievement of certain 2022 revenue targets. The consideration will be funded with equity from Patricia Industries, Advanced Instruments’ balance sheet cash, and external debt. The acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter 2022.

“We are very pleased with the performance of Advanced Instruments so far during our ownership, including the recent acquisition of Solentim. With the acquisition of Artel, the company creates a very strong platform of highly innovative instrumentation, consumables and services targeting fast growing sectors, such as the biopharmaceutical industry. Growing our great platform companies remains a key priority for Patricia Industries, and we continue to allocate significant capital toward this”, comments Investor President and CEO Johan Forssell.

“We are excited to announce another strategic add-on acquisition for Advanced Instruments. We see strong complementarity between the two businesses and significant opportunities to use the strength of their combined commercial and R&D capabilities to drive growth and create long-term value”, says Christian Cederholm, Head of Patricia Industries.

About Patricia Industries
Patricia Industries is a long-term owner that invests in companies and works to develop each company to its full potential. Patricia Industries is a part of the industrial holding company Investor AB, whose main owner is the Wallenberg Foundations.

About Advanced Instruments
Advanced Instruments is a global provider of analytical products and services for the clinical, biopharmaceutical, and food & beverage markets. With a strong brand reputation and deep customer relationships, it is recognized as the global authority on osmolality testing, and its products are the standard within each of its core markets. Advanced Instruments is based in Norwood, Massachusetts and is majority owned by Patricia Industries.

About Artel
Artel is a leading provider of analytical instruments, consumables, software and services used by life science laboratories within the biopharmaceutical, clinical and diagnostics industries to calibrate, validate and automate their liquid handling processes. Artel’s technologies are recognized globally for enabling its customer base to work more accurately and efficiently, and bring valuable therapies to patients more quickly. Artel is headquartered in Westbrook, Maine.

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Gimv invests in BioConnection, a contract development and manufacturing organisation for injectable (bio)pharmaceutical products

GIMV

Topic: Investment

Gimv invests in BioConnection alongside current shareholders Pharming Group, Mibiton and management with the aim to accelerate the next stage of growth, and to facilitate further innovation in order to continue offering the best quality services to clients. The BOM has supported BioConnection since inception and has sold its shares.

BioConnection is a niche contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) focused on fill and finish and freeze-drying of injectable (bio)pharmaceutical products The company operates from its FDA & GMP approved manufacturing site in Oss (NL) and is one of the few niche players with both clinical and commercial manufacturing capabilities.

BioConnection operates in the fast-growing aseptic fill & finish market, which is a specialised type of manufacturing for (liquid) final dosage form of drugs requiring an aseptic environment, high quality equipment, and freeze-drying expertise. Especially freeze drying requires specialised expertise, as it is a highly complex technology that stabilises drugs and improves shelf-life (reducing waste and improving access to medicine). Accordingly, (bio)pharmaceutical companies increasingly rely on BioConnection for these services, due to BioConnection’s expertise, infrastructure and flexible set-up (providing tailored offering).

Due to the fast growing (bio)pharmaceutical industry, the growing capacity shortage in the whole sector, and the shift towards outsourced production for pharmaceutical companies, the position of CDMOs has become even more important. In order for BioConnection to keep providing the highest quality service to its customers, significant investments are foreseen for the coming period. Investments will be made to improve the overall production capacity, to further increase the flexibility of production, to remain fully compliant with the constantly increasing regulatory demands and to insource additional services such as formulation, analytical testing and packaging.

Together with the co-shareholders Pharming Group, Mibiton and management, Gimv looks forward to supporting BioConnection in its next growth phase by further investing in the organisation and infrastructure to increase the production capacity and to further extend services to customers. Furthermore, Gimv will leverage its life sciences network to further support BioConnection.

Elderd Land, Partner at Gimv, states: “We are very impressed by what Alexander and his team have built over the last decade. The quality of the facilities, the ability to serve and grow at small and medium sized companies and the contribution to the overall development in the pharma space (i.e. personalised medicine) is unparalleled in this size bracket. We are very much looking forward to supporting BioConnection through its next growth phase and to continuing to build this already leading company.”

Alexander Willemse, CEO of BioConnection, says: “We are happy to have found a partner for the next stage of BioConnection. With the new shareholding structure BioConnection is able to fund and further develop our people, infrastructure and service offering. This enables us to fulfil the needs of innovative (bio)pharmaceutical companies by offering the highest quality CDMO services on the market.”

 

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Gimv

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American Laboratory Products Company Merges with GeneProof

Ampersand

SALEM, N.H. and BRNO, Czech Republic, April 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — American Laboratory Products Company, Ltd. (“ALPCO”), a specialty in vitro diagnostics company, today announced a merger with GeneProof a.s. (“GeneProof”), a leading molecular diagnostics company based in Brno, Czech Republic. The combination creates a global market leader in the diagnostic products market, with broad capabilities spanning novel immunoassay testing kits, real-time PCR testing products, and automated laboratory instrumentation solutions.

GeneProof was founded over 15 years ago by Drs. Radek Horvath and Milos Dendis and is an established market leader in the molecular diagnostics field. Both Founders will remain with the merged company and continue as significant shareholders. GeneProof is the largest producer of PCR reagents in the Czech Republic and distributes its portfolio of more than 70 CE-marked molecular diagnostic tests and instruments throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Products are primarily focused on the infectious and genetic diseases. With a strong emphasis on quality, GeneProof offers technologically advanced real-time PCR kits and user-friendly automated instrument platforms for both nucleic acid extraction and sample-to-answer testing that meet the diverse throughput needs of laboratories.

The combined company is majority owned by Ampersand Capital Partners (“Ampersand”), which first invested in ALPCO in 2020.

“ALPCO and GeneProof have both earned great reputations in their respective markets, ALPCO in immunodiagnostics and GeneProof in molecular diagnostics,” said Sean Conley, President and CEO of ALPCO. “The combination of the two companies transforms both organizations into a more complete solutions provider and aligns well with ALPCO’s strategy of investing in proprietary automated platforms.”

Radek Horvath, CEO of GeneProof, added, “This strategic connection represents a new chapter in the life of both companies. It will facilitate the entry of GeneProof products into the US market, and similarly, expand the presence of ALPCO products into the EU and around the world. The combination of deep knowledge in the field of molecular diagnostics as well as in the field of immunological diagnostics will bring a significant synergistic effect. The two merged companies intend to use each other’s technological experience and rely on the support of our strong partner, Ampersand, for further development.”

Eric Lev, General Partner at Ampersand and Board member of ALPCO added, “I look forward to working with Sean, Radek, and Milos as we build the combined company into a fully integrated global leader in the field of diagnostics and commercialize GeneProof’s fully automated real-time PCR offerings in the North American market.”



About ALPCO

American Laboratory Products Company (ALPCO) was founded in 1991 as an importer and distributor of immunoassay-based products for the North American life science markets. The company has since evolved into a leading producer of novel immunodiagnostic reagents for specialty testing laboratories. In September of 2020, ALPCO announced the recapitalization of the company by Ampersand Capital Partners. Ampersand’s investment was sought to accelerate ALPCO’s global growth initiatives, including the expansion of the company’s diagnostics reagent offering, broadening the company’s geographic presence, and fueling technological advancement. For additional information, please visit www.alpco.com.

About GeneProof

Based in Brno, Czech Republic, GeneProof a.s. was founded in 2005 by Dr. Radek Horvath and Dr. Milos Dendis. GeneProof offers a wide range of in vitro molecular diagnostic products, primarily focused on the infectious diseases and genetic mutations. The Company has established a portfolio of more than 70 CE-marked PCR test kits and a proprietary instrumentation offering to serve laboratories of all sizes. GeneProof’s sales and distribution network covers more than 60 countries around the world. For detailed information see www.geneproof.com.

About Ampersand Capital Partners

Founded in 1988, Ampersand is a middle market private equity firm with more than $2 billion of assets under management dedicated to growth-oriented investments in the healthcare sector. With offices in Boston and Amsterdam, Ampersand leverages its unique blend of private equity and operating experience to build value and drive superior long-term performance alongside its portfolio company management teams. Ampersand has helped build numerous market-leading companies across each of the firm’s core healthcare sectors. Additional information about Ampersand is available at ampersandcapital.com.

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Biotalys and Olon enter into long-term partnership for the production of protein-based biocontrols

GIMV

12/01/2022 – 07:00 | Portfolio

Relying on its leading expertise in microbial fermentation, Olon Group will manufacture Biotalys’ biocontrols beginning with Evoca

Major step forward in terms of production efficiency and scalability

Ghent, BELGIUM, and Milan, ITALY – 12 January 2022, 07:00 CET – Biotalys (Euronext – BTLS), an Agricultural Technology (AgTech) company protecting crops and food with protein-based biocontrol solutions, and Olon, a world-leading contract development and manufacturing organization, today announced a long-term strategic partnership for the manufacturing of Biotalys’ biocontrol products. The partnership is driven by the common vision of transforming food protection with unique protein-based biocontrol solutions and secures the global supply of Biotalys’ newly developed biofungicide, Evoca™*, planned for market introduction in the United States in the second half of 2022 – pending regulatory approval.

Evoca, the first protein-based biocontrol in the Biotalys pipeline, aims to provide fruit and vegetable growers with a new rotation partner in integrated pest management (IPM) programs. It helps control diseases such as Botrytis and powdery mildew, thus reducing the dependency on chemical pesticides with corresponding residues in harvested produce while offering a distinctive new tool to manage pathogen resistance development.

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Alcami Announces the Acquisition of Masy BioServices

Ampersand
Acquisition to add 375,000 ft² of cGMP Biostorage and Pharma Support Services

Wilmington, North Carolina – December 15, 2021 – Alcami Corporation, a leading pharmaceutical and biotech contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), announced today it has completed the acquisition of Masy Systems Inc. (“Masy” or “Masy BioServices”), a preferred provider of cGMP Biostorage and pharma support services. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The acquisition of Masy adds complementary service offerings and further reinforces Alcami’s ambitious growth and expansion initiatives,” commented Patrick D. Walsh, Chairman and CEO of Alcami.

Masy was founded in 1984 by entrepreneurs Laurie and John Masiello and operates three cGMP Biostorage facilities in Massachusetts, all within 1-hour of Boston and Cambridge, with a fourth facility coming online in early 2022. The company offers secure and tightly controlled cGMP temperature storage from -196˚C to 70˚C, including all ICH stability conditions, for various materials including vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, cell banks, tissues, compounds, and medical devices. The company’s pharma support services include equipment calibration, large-scale validation and qualification projects, SenseAnywhere monitoring solutions, and validation and calibration equipment sales and rentals. Masy’s additional pharma support service operations are located in California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

“We built an amazing company at Masy and are thrilled to partner with the Alcami team, as our combined resources and capabilities will result in enhanced support for our customers,” commented Masy co-founder Laurie Masiello. In addition, Steve Lane will continue in his current executive leadership role at Masy and commented, “I look forward to the successful integration and continuing to build a strong and enduring business.”

Masy clients will gain immediate access to Alcami’s comprehensive service offerings ranging from analytical development and testing to full drug product development and manufacturing, both sterile fill-finish and oral solid dose. Similarly, Alcami’s extensive client base will have access to Masy’s available and growing cGMP Biostorage capacity and extensive pharma support services.



About Alcami

Alcami is a contract development and manufacturing organization headquartered in North Carolina with over 40 years of experience advancing products through every stage of the development lifecycle. Leveraging four US-based scientific campuses, Alcami serves pharmaceutical and biotech companies of all sizes providing customizable and innovative solutions for analytical development, clinical to commercial sterile and oral solid manufacturing, packaging, microbiology, and environmental monitoring services. Alcami’s private equity ownership includes Madison Dearborn Partners and Ampersand Capital Partners. For more information, please visit alcaminow.com.

About Masy BioServices

Masy, founded by John and Laurie Masiello in 1984, has provided quality solutions to the life sciences community for nearly 40 years and meets rigorous qualifications for NVLAP accreditation to ISO 17025:2017 as well as ISO 9001:2015 certification. Services include calibration of primary standards and critical test equipment; validation and IQ/OQ/PQ of environmental chambers, autoclaves, and thermal warehouse mapping; and lab equipment rentals and sales. Masy offers premier cGMP biorepository options, with secure and tightly controlled temperature storage from -196˚C to 70˚C, including all ICH stability conditions, for various materials including vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, cell banks, tissues, compounds, and medical devices. For more information, please visit masy.com.

Media Contact

Michael Walsh
Alcami Corporation
Michael.walsh@alcaminow.com

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Nomic collects $17M to advance its automated, high-throughput ELISA platform

Lux Capital

A Canadian startup aims to give the decades-old, hand-performed ELISA test a 21st century upgrade by transforming the humble immunoassay into a high-throughput protein profiling platform.

Formerly known as nplex biosciences, Nomic said it has worked with a small number of partners across the pharmaceutical and biotech industries since its debut in 2018. Now, it’s looking to expand, powered by a recent addition of $17 million in venture capital funding.

Launched by bioengineers from McGill University in Montreal, Nomic’s nELISA test relies on DNA nanotechnology, spectral multiplexing and automation to help quantify multiple proteins simultaneously in a more cost-efficient manner. The process is aimed at expanding the scope and scale of biopharma’s drug and biomarker discovery efforts, among other applications.

Today’s series A round was led by Lux Capital with additional backing from SR One and Casdin Capital. Previous investors have included Y Combinator, Real Ventures and 2048 Ventures.

RELATED: Y Combinator startup grows mini-tumors to take the guesswork out of personalizing cancer treatments

“It’s evident that the next leap in understanding and treating disease will come from building atop the emerging omic-stack,” Lux Capital Partner Zavain Dar said in a statement, adding that the missing piece has been the ability to analyze the human proteome as easily as the genome.

Using a traditional ELISA—short for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay—can be a time-consuming process that involves building sandwiched layers of specially tagged antibodies and the samples to be tested, with a change in color indicating the presence of a specific protein antigen.

Nomic’s miniaturized version of this gold-standard test runs several of these screenings in parallel—by shrinking down all of an ELISA’s components onto micron-sized beads—while aiming to maintain the accuracy of the manual method.

The company’s system was previously tapped for research programs at GlaxoSmithKline and the Montreal Neurological Institute, including profiling the levels of 150 cytokines among 15,000 cell-derived samples to generated more than 2.2 million protein data points and running thousands of assays to examine the effects of 1,200 different drugs on human brain cells derived from patients with Parkinson’s disease, according to McGill.

RELATED: Alphabet launches AI drug discovery venture built on DeepMind’s protein-folding expertise

More recently, Nomic said it would provide its nELISA platform to the JUMP Cell Painting Consortium, a group coordinated by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard that includes biopharma companies and nonprofit partners aiming to build a large, cell-imaging database to support drug discovery efforts.

The database, which is scheduled to be publicly available in November 2022, will characterize more than 1 billion cells and their responses to over 140,000 small molecules and genetic perturbations to provide a systematic map of the activity and toxicity of compounds and their effects on disease.

“Importantly, the complementary information provided by the two platforms, Cell Painting and nELISA, will enable JUMP-CP scientists to explore more of the biology underlying their compound and genetic screens,” Nomic co-founder and CEO Milad Dagher said in a statement.

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Avistone Pharmaceuticals Secures $200 Million Strategic Investment from Vivo Capital, Bain Capital and Primavera Capital

BainCapital

The strategic investment will also support the accelerated development of Avistone’s existing drug candidates, expand its product pipeline through both research and development efforts and business development, enable the combined business to capitalize on opportunities in key markets outside of China, and scale its capabilities to prepare for commercialization.

Based in Beijing, China, Avistone has been committed to the development of precision oncology therapeutics for nearly a decade and has a broad oncology pipeline focused on treatments for lung cancer.  The Company’s most advanced asset is a c-Met inhibitor in late-stage clinical development for genetically-defined populations of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and glioblastoma (GBM).  This product candidate has been awarded Breakthrough Therapy designation by China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA).  In addition, Avistone has an innovative pipeline of tyrosine kinase inhibitors for other molecular drivers of cancer that includes another drug candidate currently in a Phase I dose escalation clinical study.  The Company also has several therapeutic compound candidates in pre-clinical and IND-enabling studies.

“Avistone is a science-driven, innovative biotechnology company committed to the discovery and clinical development of first-in-class and best-in-class drugs,” said Dr. Hepeng Shi, Chairman, CEO, and Founder of Avistone.  “We are thrilled for our company, team, and product pipeline to be recognized by such well-established global life sciences investors as Vivo Capital, Bain Capital, and Primavera Capital.  We look forward to leveraging their resources and capabilities to realize our vision to become a global oncology leader that provides more effective treatment options and improves quality of life for patients around the world.”

“Vivo Capital is excited to have the opportunity to lead this transformative financing for Avistone.  The deal exemplifies Vivo’s investment capabilities in both innovation and private equity transactions in China, as well as extraordinary collaborations both internally, led by Drs. Hongbo Lu and David Liu, and externally, joined by Bain Capital and Primavera Capital.” said Shan Fu, Managing Partner and CEO of Greater China for Vivo Capital.  “As a global biotech investor with 25 years of history, Vivo is excited to witness the rapid emergence of the Chinese biotech industry. We have known the Avistone team for many years, and we see tremendous value in Avistone’s capabilities in both innovative drug R&D and execution in China.  We look forward to partnering with Bain Capital and Primavera Capital to help Avistone bring life-saving therapeutics to patients around the world,” added Dr. Hongbo Lu, Managing Partner and CIO of Greater China for Vivo Capital.

“Over the past several years, Bain Capital Life Sciences and Bain Capital Asia Private Equity have systematically studied the life sciences landscape in China to identify the most attractive therapeutic areas and the most promising companies, and this exciting investment represents a culmination of our cross-platform efforts,” said Ricky Sun, a Managing Director at Bain Capital Life Sciences.  “We are excited to collaborate with Dr. Shi and his team, and to provide the necessary resources to enable the Company to build a best-in-class targeted oncology platform that brings transformative products to patients all over the world.”

“The era of precise and personalized cancer treatment has arrived after years of development. However, there are still considerable clinical needs that have not been met,” said Jiaqi Zheng, Managing Director of Primavera Capital. “As pioneers in the China pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Shi and his team have accumulated a great deal of expertise in drug discovery and clinical development of targeted therapies.  We are delighted to become an investor and strategic partner of Avistone and are committed to supporting the Company’s mission of becoming a leading global biopharmaceutical platform of innovative precision therapeutics.”

About Avistone Biotechnology
Avistone is a clinical-stage biotechnology company based in Beijing, China, focusing on researching and developing innovative therapies for patients with significant unmet medical needs globally. The company’s core team comprises experienced drug design and clinical development experts, supported by a scientific advisory committee that includes internationally renowned KOLs. Avistone has an extensive pipeline of targeted therapies for molecular drivers of cancer, including two clinical-stage drug candidates and several ongoing programs in the pre-clinical development stage.

About Vivo Capital
Founded in 1996, Vivo Capital is a leading global healthcare investment firm with a multi-fund investment platform in venture capital, growth equity, buyout, and public equities. Vivo has approximately $5.8 billion in assets under management and has invested in over 315 public and private companies worldwide. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with additional offices in Asia, the Vivo team is comprised of diverse talents spanning scientific, operating, and financial backgrounds, working collaboratively via a single team approach.  Vivo invests broadly in healthcare across all sub-sectors in the healthcare industry, including in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, life science tools, diagnostics, health tech and healthcare services.

About Bain Capital
Founded in 1984, Bain Capital, LP is one of the world’s leading private multi-asset alternative investment firms with offices on four continents and deep experience in healthcare. Bain Capital manages approximately $150 billion across asset classes and leverages the firm’s shared platform to capture opportunities in strategic areas of focus.  Bain Capital Life Sciences (www.baincapitallifesciences.com) pursues investments in biopharmaceutical, specialty pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics and enabling life science technology companies globally. The team focuses on companies that both drive medical innovation across the value chain and enable that innovation to improve the lives of patients with unmet medical needs.  Bain Capital Private Equity (http://www.baincapitalprivateequity.com) has partnered closely with management teams to provide the strategic resources that build great companies and help them thrive. A team of more than 275 investment professionals creates value for portfolio companies through its global platform and depth of expertise in key vertical industries including healthcare.

About Primavera Capital
Primavera Capital is a premier China-based global investment firm with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Silicon Valley. Founded by respected economist Dr. Fred Hu in 2010, Primavera Capital manages approximately USD 15 billion in assets across both RMB and USD funds for leading institutions, corporations and prominent family offices around the world. Primavera Capital seeks the best opportunities from China’s historic transition from a middle-income to an advanced economy and focuses on consumer and retail, technology, healthcare, financial services, and carbon neutrality related sectors.

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Capricorn Further Invests in DMC Series B

Capricorn

Leuven, Belgium: 2 December 2021 – DMC Biotechnologies has completed the first close of its Series B fundraising, raising $34 million (USD) with investment from Cibus Enterprise, Capricorn Partners, Sofinnova Partners, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, SCG, Boulder Ventures, Solvay Ventures and Michelin.

DMC is commercial with its first product, a bio-based chemical intermediate with primary applications in home care and human nutrition. The company has a deep pipeline of predictable, scalable, cost-competitive products, addressing sustainability challenges across a wide range of industries, including animal nutrition, human nutrition, personal and home care, and a broad range of chemical intermediates.

DMC’s technology platform addresses the key barriers that have plagued the biotech industry for decades including standardization, robustness, and predictability across scale. Addressing these challenges translates to a dramatic reduction in the time to market and the investment needed to bring products to commercialization. Both are significantly improved relative to the industry standard.

Matt Lipscomb, PhD, CEO & Co-Founder of DMC said, “Building back better after the pandemic means we need to strengthen domestic manufacturing and improve supply chain resiliency. Biomanufacturing is one critical part of this strategy and DMC is positioned to be a significant part of this change. This financing will accelerate the commercialization of economically attractive and sustainable choices for consumers. We are excited to partner with our new investors and we are grateful for the continued support of our early investors as we advance DMC to the next stage.”

Alastair Cooper, Head of Venture Investments at Cibus said, “DMC has a truly unique technology platform which allows for the efficient production of bio-based chemicals applicable across a range of industries, most notably the human and animal nutrition markets. This substantially reduces the economic and environmental costs of production, allowing customers a more resilient and sustainable supply chain. We’re delighted to partner with Matt and his team who have demonstrated exceptional results at commercial scale already with far less time and cost than traditional biotech approaches.”

At Capricorn both the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund and Quest for Growth invested in DMC. The Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund was already an early stage investor in DMC. “Over the years we have seen the team grow and the technology deliver on its promises. DMC demonstrated not only its rapid development cycle, but especially its process robustness and repeatability, resulting in highly efficient fermentation processes for a variety of product families”

For further reading, please go to Capricorn’s or DMC’s website

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Gilde Healthcare company Sanifit acquired by Vifor Pharma

GIlde Healthcare
November 22, 2021
St. Gallen (Switzerland) and Palma (Spain)
  • Vifor Pharma to acquire Sanifit, a clinical-stage cardio-renal biopharmaceutical company focused on treatments for progressive vascular calcification disorders, complementing and strengthening the Group’s growing nephrology portfolio
  • Sanifit’s lead compound, SNF472 is a novel, first-in-class inhibitor of vascular calcification in phase 3, developed for the treatment of calcific uremic arteriolopathy (CUA) and peripheral artery disease (PAD) in patients with end-stage kidney disease
  • Purchase price includes an upfront payment of EUR 205 million, precommercial milestones for up to EUR 170 million and progressive commercial milestones

St. Gallen (Switzerland) and Palma (Spain), 22 November 2021 – Vifor Pharma and Sanifit Therapeutics, a clinical-stage cardio-renal biopharmaceutical company focused on treatments for progressive vascular calcification disorders, today announced the companies have entered into a definitive agreement. Vifor Pharma will acquire Sanifit, for the continued development and commercialization of SNF472, a novel, first-in-class inhibitor of vascular calcification for the treatment of CUA and PAD in patients with end-stage kidney disease. There are currently no approved medicines indicated for CUA or for PAD specifically in this population. SNF472 has already been granted orphan drug designation for the treatment of CUA and PAD by the US Food and Drug Administration and for CUA by the European Medicines Agency.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Vifor Pharma will acquire 100% of the outstanding shares in Sanifit Therapeutics, receiving full global rights for SNF472, further enhancing the company’s portfolio of innovative assets. Shareholders of Sanifit will receive an upfront payment of EUR 205 million, clinical, regulatory and market access milestones for up to EUR 170 million and tiered sales-based milestones that could reach mid to high triple digit EUR millions at peak sales.

“Today’s exciting announcement helps us to build on our strong nephrology pipeline to help end-stage kidney disease patients globally”, commented Abbas Hussain, Chief Executive Officer of Vifor Pharma Group. “Through the acquisition of Sanifit and its lead compound SNF472, we will further expand our growing nephrology pipeline into vascular calcification, a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with end-stage kidney disease. SNF472 is the only novel asset addressing a great unmet medical need for end-stage kidney disease patients with calcific uremic arteriolopathy and peripheral artery disease. We look forward to bringing this highly promising, innovative treatment option to over 330,000 patients in the US and Europe, living with CUA or PAD, as soon as possible.”

Joan Perelló, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Sanifit, said; “From the very beginning, Sanifit has been a pioneer of new approaches to treat calcification disorders, a huge area of unmet need. This agreement is a testament to the enduring commitment of our dedicated team and investors, as well as our unique approach to combat vascular calcification, which originated from the University of the Balearic Islands. We are excited to join forces with Vifor Pharma, which has a world-renowned commitment to patient focused cardio-renal therapies. Vifor Pharma is the ideal partner to take the development of Sanifit’s calcification franchise forward and bring these novel treatments to patients as quickly as possible.”

Sanifit conducted a phase-IIb trial (CaLIPSO) to assess the effect of SNF472 on slowing arterial calcification, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in dialysis patients. The trial met its primary endpoint in reducing coronary artery calcium progression in patients treated with SNF472, compared to patients receiving placebo over a 52-week period. SNF472 is currently in phase-III trials in CUA in patients on dialysis, to measure primary endpoints for wound healing and pain. A phase-III trial in PAD in patients on dialysis, is planned to commence in 2022.

Closing of the transaction is contingent on customary closing conditions, including the FDI procedure in Spain and merger filings in certain countries, and is expected to take place in Q1 2022.

About Vifor Pharma Group
Vifor Pharma Group is a global pharmaceuticals company. It aims to become the global leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The company is a partner of choice for pharmaceuticals and innovative patient-focused solutions. Vifor Pharma Group strives to help patients around the world with severe and chronic diseases lead better, healthier lives. The company develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products for precision patient care. Vifor Pharma Group holds a leading position in all its core business activities and consists of the following companies: Vifor Pharma and Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma (a joint company with Fresenius Medical Care). Vifor Pharma Group is headquartered in Switzerland, and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX Swiss Exchange, VIFN, ISIN: CH0364749348). For more information, please visit viforpharma.com.

About Sanifit Therapeutics
Sanifit is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treatments for vascular calcification disorders. The Company is a spin-off from the University of the Balearic Islands and has offices in Spain and the U.S. Sanifit’s lead asset, SNF472, successfully completed a Phase 2 proof of concept study in calciphylaxis, and showed a significant reduction in progression of coronary calcification in a Phase 2b study in hemodialysis patients. A Phase 3 pivotal study in calciphylaxis is currently underway and the Company is also pursuing peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in patients with end-stage kidney disease as a second indication for SNF472. In 2015 and 2019, Sanifit announced the largest private biotech fundraises in Spain and has been supported by a variety of healthcare focused investors including: Caixa Capital Risc, Ysios Capital, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, Forbion Capital Partners, Gilde Healthcare, Andera Partners, Columbus Venture Partners, Alta Life Sciences, Baxter Ventures, HealthEquity and INNVIERTE ECONOMÍA SOSTENIBLE, a venture capital fund managed by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (“CDTI”) of the Spanish Government. Sanifit is headquartered in Palma, Spain.

About Gilde Healthcare
Gilde Healthcare is a specialized healthcare investor with two fund strategies: Venture&Growth and Private Equity. The firm operates out of offices in Utrecht (The Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany) and Cambridge (United States). Gilde Healthcare Venture&Growth invests in fast growing, innovative companies active in (bio)pharmaceuticals, healthtech and medtech that are based in Europe and North America. For more information, please visit: www.gildehealthcare.com.

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Novo Nordisk to Acquire Dicerna

Abingworth

Acquisition to Accelerate and Expand Novo Nordisk Development of RNAi Therapeutics Using Dicerna’s Proprietary GalXC™ Technology Platform –

LEXINGTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 18, 2021– Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRNA) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Novo Nordisk under which Novo Nordisk will acquire Dicerna, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of investigational ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) therapeutics, for $38.25 per share in cash, which represents a total equity value of $3.3 billion and a premium of 80% to Dicerna’s closing price on November 17, 2021. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Dicerna Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk and Dicerna have been parties to a research collaboration since 2019 to discover and develop RNAi therapies using Dicerna’s proprietary GalXC™ RNAi platform technology. The collaboration between Novo Nordisk and Dicerna encompassed the exploration of more than 30 liver cell targets with the potential to deliver multiple clinical candidates for disorders including chronic liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), type 2 diabetes, obesity and rare diseases. Novo Nordisk expects to initiate clinical development of the first investigational RNAi therapeutic to emerge from this collaboration in 2022.

Dicerna’s RNAi technology platform enables access to intracellular disease targets across hepatic and extrahepatic cell and tissue types, complementing Novo Nordisk’s existing technology platforms. This acquisition supports Novo Nordisk’s strategy of developing and applying a broad range of technology platforms across all Novo Nordisk therapeutic areas.

“The acquisition of Dicerna accelerates Novo Nordisk’s research within RNAi and expands the usage of the RNAi technology,” said Marcus Schindler, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Novo Nordisk. “We build on our successful collaboration and by combining Dicerna’s state-of-the-art RNAi drug engine and intracellular delivery with our deep capabilities in disease biology understanding and tissue targeting through peptides and proteins we have the potential to expand our pipeline and deliver life-changing precision medicines for people living with chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and NASH, as well as rare diseases like endocrine disorders and bleeding disorders.”

“Since the start of our collaboration two years ago, the Dicerna and Novo Nordisk teams have established a strong rapport built on a foundation of mutual respect for one another’s capabilities, culture and expertise,” said Douglas Fambrough, Ph.D., Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dicerna. “The combination of Dicerna’s expertise in RNAi and oligonucleotide therapeutics and highly skilled employees with Novo Nordisk’s industry leadership in developing and commercializing medicines to treat serious chronic diseases, has the potential to significantly accelerate and expand our mission to deliver GalXC RNAi therapies for the benefit of patients and all our stakeholders.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Novo Nordisk, through a subsidiary, will initiate a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Dicerna common stock at a price of $38.25 per share in cash. The closing of the tender offer will be subject to certain conditions, including the tender of shares representing at least a majority of the total number of Dicerna’s outstanding shares, the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions. Upon the successful completion of the tender offer, Novo Nordisk’s acquisition subsidiary will be merged into Dicerna, and any remaining shares of common stock of Dicerna will be cancelled and converted into the right to receive the same $38.25 per share price payable in the tender offer. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Novo Nordisk is represented by Evercore as exclusive financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as legal advisor. For Dicerna, Centerview Partners LLC is acting as lead financial advisor, SVB Leerink is acting as financial advisor, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Goodwin Procter LLP are acting as legal advisors.

About Dicerna

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRNA) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing medicines that are designed to leverage ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) to silence selectively genes that cause or contribute to disease. Using our proprietary GalXC™ and GalXC-Plus™ RNAi technologies, Dicerna is committed to developing RNAi-based therapies with the potential to treat both rare and more prevalent diseases. By silencing disease-causing genes, Dicerna’s GalXC platform has the potential to address conditions that are difficult to treat with other modalities. Initially focused on disease-causing genes in the liver, Dicerna has continued to innovate and is exploring new applications of its RNAi technology with GalXC-Plus, which expands on the functionality and application of our flagship liver-targeted GalXC technology to tissues and cell types outside the liver, and has the potential to treat diseases across multiple therapeutic areas. In addition to our own pipeline of core discovery and clinical candidates, Dicerna has established collaborative relationships with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, including Novo Nordisk A/S, Roche, Eli Lilly and Company, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Between Dicerna and our collaborative partners, we currently have more than 20 active discovery, preclinical or clinical programs focused on cardiometabolic, viral, chronic liver and complement-mediated diseases, as well as neurodegenerative diseases and pain. At Dicerna, our mission is to interfere – to silence genes, to fight disease, to restore health. For more information, please visit www.Dicerna.com.

About RNAi and the GalXC™ and the GalXC-Plus™ Platforms

Ribonucleic acid interference, or RNAi, provides a unique advantage to other disease inhibitor technologies, like small-molecule pharmaceuticals or monoclonal antibodies. Instead of targeting proteins after they have been produced and released, RNAi silences the genes themselves via the specific destruction of the messenger RNA (mRNA) made from the gene. Rather than seeking to inhibit a protein, the RNAi approach can prevent a disease-causing protein’s creation, directly impacting disease manifestation.

Dicerna’s proprietary GalXC™ RNAi platform aims to advance the development of next-generation RNAi-based therapies. Investigational therapeutics developed using our flagship GalXC technology utilize a proprietary N-acetyl-D-galactosamine (GalNAc)-mediated structure of double-stranded RNA molecules that are designed to bind specifically to receptors on liver cells, leading to selective hepatocyte internalization and access to the RNAi machinery within the cells. Dicerna is continuously innovating and exploring new applications of RNAi technology beyond GalNAc-mediated delivery to the liver, including alternative RNA structures and fully synthetic ligands that target other tissues and cell types and enable new therapeutic applications, referred to as GalXC-Plus™.

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 47,000 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries. Novo Nordisk’s B shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Novo-B). Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NVO). For more information, visit novonordisk.com, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Notice to Investors and Security Holders

The tender offer referred to in this communication has not yet commenced. The description contained in this communication is neither an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell any securities, nor is it a substitute for the tender offer materials that Novo Nordisk A/S, a Danish aktieselskab (together with its subsidiaries, “Novo”) will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The solicitation and offer to buy shares of common stock (the “Shares”) of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, “Dicerna”) will only be made pursuant to an offer to purchase and related tender offer materials. At the time the tender offer is commenced, Novo will file a tender offer statement on Schedule TO and thereafter Dicerna will file a solicitation/recommendation statement on Schedule 14D-9 with the SEC with respect to the Offer. THE TENDER OFFER MATERIALS (INCLUDING AN OFFER TO PURCHASE, A RELATED LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL AND CERTAIN OTHER OFFER DOCUMENTS) AND THE SOLICITATION/RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT ON SCHEDULE 14D-9 WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. ANY HOLDERS OF SHARES ARE URGED TO READ THESE DOCUMENTS CAREFULLY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT HOLDERS SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING ANY DECISION REGARDING TENDERING THEIR SHARES. The offer to purchase, the related letter of transmittal and the solicitation/recommendation statement will be made available for free at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Additional copies may be obtained for free by contacting Dicerna. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Dicerna will be available free of charge on Dicerna’s internet website at https://investors.dicerna.com/investor-relations or by contacting Dicerna’s investor relations contact at +1 617-514-2275. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Novo can be obtained, when filed, free of charge by directing a request to the Information Agent for the tender offer which will be named in the tender offer materials.

In addition to the offer to purchase, the related letter of transmittal and certain other tender offer documents to be filed by Novo, as well as the solicitation/recommendation statement to be filed by Dicerna, Dicerna will also file annual, quarterly and current reports with the SEC. Dicerna’s filings with the SEC are available to the public from commercial document-retrieval services and at the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov.

Forward-Looking Statements

The information contained in this communication is as of November 18, 2021. Dicerna assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this communication as the result of new information or future events or developments, except as may be required by law.

This communication contains forward-looking information related to Dicerna and the proposed acquisition of Dicerna that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Forward-looking statements in this communication include, among other things, statements about the potential benefits of the proposed acquisition; the parties’ ability to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the tender offer and the other conditions to the consummation of the acquisition; statements about the expected timetable for completing the transaction; Dicerna’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, the financial condition, results of operations and business of Dicerna, Dicerna’s product candidates and Dicerna’s GalXC™ and GalXC-Plus™ RNAi technologies and the anticipated timing of closing of the proposed acquisition.

Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, risks related to the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions to closing the proposed acquisition (including the failure to obtain necessary regulatory approval) in the anticipated timeframe or at all; uncertainties as to how many of Dicerna’s stockholders will tender their shares of Dicerna common stock in the tender offer and the possibility that the acquisition does not close; the possibility that competing offers may be made; risks related to obtaining the requisite consents to the acquisition, including, without limitation, the timing (including possible delays) and receipt of clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended; disruption from the transaction making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; significant transaction costs; the risks and uncertainties inherent in research and development, including risks associated with Dicerna’s ability to obtain and maintain necessary approvals from the FDA and other regulatory authorities; initiate preclinical studies and clinical trials of its product candidates; advance its product candidates in preclinical research and clinical trials; replicate in clinical trials positive results found in preclinical studies; advance the development of its product candidates under the timelines it anticipates in current and future clinical trials; obtain, maintain or protect intellectual property rights related to its product candidates; manage expenses; and raise the substantial additional capital needed to achieve its business objectives.

Further descriptions of risks and uncertainties relating to Dicerna can be found in Dicerna’s Registration Statement on Form S-1, as amended, Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2021, and subsequent Current Reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the SEC and available at www.sec.gov and https://investors.dicerna.com/investor-relations.

These forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions and assessments made by Dicerna in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, business strategies, operating environment, future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. Although it is believed that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements in this communication are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct and persons reading this communication are therefore cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as at the date of this communication.

Media:
Amy Trevvett
+1 617-612-6253
atrevvett@dicerna.com

Investors:
Kristen K. Sheppard, Esq.
+1 617-514-2275
ksheppard@dicerna.com

Source: Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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