Gimv leads CHF55.5M ($61M) Series A financing in Anjarium Biosciences to develop novel non-viral gene therapies.

GIMV

16/09/2021 – 08:00 | Portfolio

Anjarium Biosciences AG (“Anjarium”), a biotech company focused on creating and delivering a new class of non-viral gene therapies today announced the closing of a CHF55.5M ($61M) Series A financing. The round was co-led by Gimv and Abingworth, with significant participation from Omega Funds, Pfizer Ventures and Surveyor (a Citadel company).

Anjarium’s innovative approach leverages breakthrough science and expertise at the interface of genetic medicine, synthetic biology and nanoparticle engineering to rationally design and produce tissue-targeted gene therapies optimized to improve patient outcomes in a range of serious genetic diseases.

The Company’s unique platform combines proprietary DNA-based gene vectors, natural and synthetic nanoparticle delivery modalities, including its novel Hybridosome™ technology and cost efficient as well as scalable manufacturing solutions.

Anjarium’s approach has the potential to deliver more predictable, lasting, and inclusionary ways to tackle genetic disease throughout a patient’s lifetime. Further, this new class of gene therapy provides the opportunity to address key shortcomings of current viral gene therapy development by creating medicines with reduced immunogenicity, increased drug payload capacity, enhanced targeted delivery, and individualized multiple dosing.

The proceeds from the Series A financing will enable Anjarium to expand its team, develop its ground-breaking platform as well as push several therapeutic pipeline programs towards clinic.

“As the limitations of conventional viral-vector based gene therapies to deliver optimal patient outcomes become increasingly evident, a fully non-viral approach represents an exciting new therapeutic opportunity,” said Joël de Beer, Founder and CSO of Anjarium Biosciences. “Backed by this syndicate of leading investors, the Anjarium team is looking forward to continue to create and deliver solutions for patients beyond what current gene therapy platforms can address, tackling more diseases, more precisely and more personalized.

Bram Vanparys, Partner at Gimv: “We are very excited to support Anjarium as its groundbreaking science, platform and manufacturing setup holds very high potential to change the way we approach gene therapy today – with the possibility to deliver products with much better outcomes and durability.”

Thomas Harth, Senior Associate at Gimv, added: “We have been on the lookout for a novel gene therapy approach that could offer individualized multiple dosing in a safe, targeted and efficient manner and believe to have found this in Anjarium’ s innovating platform approach. As part of Gimv’ s strategy to build leading life science companies, we are very thrilled to support the Anjarium team to the next stage of development.”

For further information, we refer to the companies press release in the attachment.

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EQT Private Equity and Goldman Sachs Asset Management to acquire Parexel, a leading global clinical research organization, for USD 8.5 billion

eqt
  • Parexel is a leading global provider of clinical research and consulting services to the pharma and biotech industry
  • Parexel’s services enable the development of innovative new medicines that improve the health of patients across the world
  • EQT Private Equity and Goldman Sachs Asset Management are committed to making significant investments to further Parexel’s offering, including best-in-class service delivery, quality, and client focus

The EQT IX fund (“EQT Private Equity”) and the Private Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (“Goldman Sachs”) have agreed to acquire Parexel (the “Company”), a leading global clinical research organization from Pamplona Capital Management for an enterprise value of USD 8.5 billion.

Parexel was founded in 1982 and is co-headquartered in Durham, NC and Newton, MA, USA. The Company has significant expertise across the drug development and commercialization continuum, offering a comprehensive suite of outsourced clinical research services, as well as regulatory, market access, and strategy consulting services. Parexel’s services enable the pharma and biotech industry to develop innovative new medicines that improve the health of patients across the world. The Company has a strong patient centric focus, having been a driving force in the market shift towards decentralized clinical trials and increased patient diversity over the last few years. Parexel employs more than 17,000 people and conducts clinical trials in more than 95 different countries.

Eric Liu, Partner and Global Co-Head of Healthcare at EQT, commented, “We have followed Parexel closely during the past few years and have been impressed by the Company’s development and trajectory. Our investment in Parexel reflects EQT’s thematic focus on the life sciences industry, as well as our commitment to partnering with businesses that have a positive impact on society. We are excited to partner with Goldman Sachs for the next stage of Parexel’s journey, and to back Jamie, who prior to his role at Parexel had been a long-time senior advisor to EQT, as well as the rest of the Parexel team.”

Jo Natauri, Partner and Global Head of Private Healthcare Investing within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, commented, “We are thrilled to partner with Jamie Macdonald, the entire Parexel management team and EQT to support Parexel, which has a distinguished track record of delivering clinical excellence to their large pharma and biotech customers globally. We believe this investment will accelerate Parexel’s growth as it builds on the company’s global footprint, strong operational capabilities and expansive healthcare network.”

Jamie Macdonald, CEO of Parexel, commented, “We are proud of what Parexel has achieved over the recent years in collaboration with Pamplona, and the transformative journey that we have embarked on. EQT and Goldman Sachs are two leading global institutions with significant experience and expertise in the healthcare sector, and I am excited to partner with both in the next stage of our journey.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals.

Goldman Sachs and Jefferies LLC acted as financial advisors to EQT Private Equity and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provided legal counsel.

With this transaction, EQT IX fund is expected to be 55-60 percent invested (including closed and/or signed investments, announced public offers, if applicable, and less any expected syndication).

Contact
Daniel Yunger, daniel.yunger@kekstcnc.com, +1 917 574 8582
EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is a purpose-driven global investment organization with more than EUR 67 billion in assets under management across 26 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas with total sales of approximately EUR 29 billion and more than 175,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram

About Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Equity
Bringing together traditional and alternative investments, Goldman Sachs Asset Management provides clients around the world with a dedicated partnership and focus on long-term performance. As the primary investing area within Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), we deliver investment and advisory services for the world’s leading institutions, financial advisors and individuals, drawing from our deeply connected global network and tailored expert insights, across every region and market—overseeing more than $2 trillion in assets under supervision worldwide as of March 31, 2021. Driven by a passion for our clients’ performance, we seek to build long-term relationships based on conviction, sustainable outcomes, and shared success over time. Goldman Sachs Asset Management invests in the full spectrum of alternatives, including private equity, growth equity, private credit, real estate and infrastructure. Established in 1986, the Private Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management has invested over $75 billion since inception. We combine our global network of relationships, our unique insight across markets, industries and regions, and the worldwide resources of Goldman Sachs to build businesses and accelerate value creation across our portfolios. 

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About Parexel
Parexel supports the development of innovative new medicines to improve the health of patients. We provide services to help life science and biopharmaceutical clients everywhere transform scientific discoveries into new treatments. From clinical trials to regulatory and consulting services to commercial and market access, our therapeutic, technical and functional ability is underpinned by a deep conviction in what we do. Parexel was named “Best Contract Research Organization” in December 2020 by an independent panel for Informa Pharma Intelligence.

For more information, visit our website and follow us on LinkedInTwitter and Instagram

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Biotheus Announces the Closing of a New Round of Financing co-led by General Atlantic and IDG Capital

General Atlantic

Biotheus has announced the successful completion of a fourth round of financing, co-led by General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity investor, and IDG Capital, a global leading investment firm. Other new investors include Kunlun Capital, CPE, and Cowin Capital, with participation by previous investors Highlight Capital, Shiyu Capital, New Alliance Capital, Huajin Investment, and others.

Founded in 2018, Biotheus is a clinical development stage company with the mission of treating cancer and autoimmune diseases through next-generation therapeutics. This is supported by the company’s product pipeline, which consists of over 10 novel monoclonal and multispecific antibodies. Biotheus currently has two bispecific antibodies in phase I clinical development for cancer treatment, and a third IND application was submitted at the end of 2020. With this new investment, Biotheus will further increase its investment into its research activities with the aim to have five novel drugs into clinical development by the end of 2021, and drive multiple programs into late-stage clinical development,

Regarding this round of financing, Mr. Xiaolin Liu, President and CEO of Biotheus, remarked, “We are pleased that our efforts have been recognized and supported by leading investors like General Atlantic and IDG Capital. The continued support from our previous investors is also testament to our company’s progress, execution and the strength of our pipeline. This round of financing will fund the development of our existing product pipeline and the construction of our manufacturing facility. With the strong support of all our investors, we will fully drive the development of our product pipeline, strengthen our position in the global market for cancer immunotherapy, and bring much-needed innovative treatments and options to a larger population of cancer patients.”

Mr. Lefei Sun, Managing Director and Head of Healthcare for China at General Atlantic, added, “In a short period of time, Biotheus has developed a differentiated and competitive pipeline of next-generation therapies, underpinned by an efficient R&D engine and a premier founding team with a successful track record of antibody development. Taken together, we believe that Biotheus is strongly positioned as an emerging player in the global biopharmaceutical landscape. We look forward to supporting Biotheus and its leadership team to accelerate the development of their deep product pipeline and advance innovative, life-saving cancer treatments to the commercial stage.”

“Led by Mr. Xiaolin Liu, the core team of Biotheus has extensive experience in the development of novel antibody drugs,” said Dr. Tao Huang, Vice President of IDG Capital. “Biotheus has built multiple platforms critical for drug development and a product pipeline with a strong competitive advantage. The construction of their manufacturing base has also begun. We believe Biotheus has significant growth potential.”

About Biotheus

Founded in 2018, Biotheus is an up-and-coming biotech company focused on curing malignant tumors and autoimmune diseases. Biotheus is committed to research and development, and commercialization of premier innovative biologics mainly through the discovery of next-generation multispecific antibodies. Biotheus has completed four rounds of financing. In addition, Biotheus has received support from the Zhuhai government through a number of initiatives and policies that drive local innovation.

About General Atlantic

General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. Established in 1980, General Atlantic combines a collaborative global approach, sector specific expertise, a long-term investment horizon and a deep understanding of growth drivers to partner with great entrepreneurs and management teams to build market-leading businesses worldwide. General Atlantic has more than 175 investment professionals based in New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, Greenwich, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Shanghai and Singapore. For more information on General Atlantic, please visit the website: www.generalatlantic.com.

About IDG Capital

Started from 1993, IDG Capital was the first firm to bring foreign venture capital into China. IDG Capital has always been pursuing long-term value investing and focused on developing extraordinary companies through our expertise in private equity and venture capital. After nearly 30 years of development, IDG capital has accumulated asset under management of about 150 billion RMB, invested more than 1,000 companies and with over 200 successful exits. IDG Capital focuses on leading companies in the fields of TMT, new consumer and service, entertainment, healthcare, advanced manufacturing and clean energy, with companies expanding from early stage to growth stage, IPO and M&A. IDG Capital investment portfolio in healthcare includes: MGI Tech, Colortech Bio, Ping An Good Doctor, Edigene, HiFiBio, Analytical Biosciences, Zhenge Biotech, Gensciences, Microtech Medical, Keya Medical, Accutar Biotech and Lyvgen.

About Kunlun Capital

Kunlun Capital was founded in 2015, focusing on investment in technologically innovative enterprises. It operates in a dual-currency model of USD and RMB. The current asset management scale exceeds RMB 10 billion. Kunlun Capital pays attention to innovative business models driven by technology, products, and data, and seeks entrepreneurial teams with globalization potential and localization capabilities by selecting leading companies in subdivisions. Kunlun Capital has successively invested in Opera, DaDa, Pony.AI, KEYA Medical, MicroPort CardioFlow, EdiGene, OBiO, PingCap and other companies.

About CPE

CPE is an alternative asset manager with extensive China experience and, at the same time, an international perspective. With a long-term vision and value investment strategy, CPE provides innovative investment solutions to leading firms from the following five key sectors – healthcare, consumer and internet, technology and industrial, software and enterprise services, and real estate. Currently with its successful long-term performance, CPE’s funds under management are supported by over 200 domestic and international institutional investors across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The core investment team has completed more than 200 investments globally and has an outstanding track record in multiple USD and RMB funds with a total AUM exceeding RMB100 billion, enabling the firm to accumulate key sector knowledge and a widespread business network. With a solid investment and research process, strong sector expertise and professional portfolio management capabilities, CPE builds long-term relationships with its portfolios in order to drive their value creation and sustainable growth.

About Cowin Capital

Cowin Capital Group was established in 2000 year as China’s one of the first professional private placement Equity Investment Company focusing in Chinese market.

Cowin Capital has 20 years of experience in capital management, whose capital management scale was among top tier of the field with more than 20 billion RMB under and has generated extraordinary returns. Cowin Capital group focuses on investing on pioneering enterprise in long-term basis, supporting companies long term development. Cowin has invested more than 500 companies over the years and more than 90 companies become public companies.

Media Contacts

Mary Armstrong & Emily Japlon
General Atlantic media@generalatlantic.com

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Ardian acquires a majority stake in GBA Group, a leading bio-analytical laboratory services provider, alongside GBA Group’s management team and Quadriga Capital

Ardian
  • 25 February 2021 Buyout Germany, Frankfurt

Frankfurt/Hamburg, 25 February 2021 – Ardian, a world leading private investment house, announced the acquisition of a majority stake in GBA Group alongside GBA’s management team and Quadriga Capital. Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Hamburg, GBA Group (GBA) is a leading independent TIC (Testing, Inspection, Certification) provider of bio-analytical laboratory services in the DACH region with a strong presence in Belgium and Poland.

GBA’s core testing service competences are focused on the most attractive and resilient fields of food & beverage, pharmaceutical and environmental analytics. Unique characteristics of the Company are its comprehensive & differentiated service and testing portfolio, strong service orientation, cutting edge innovation capabilities and its high customer loyalty. These features have assured the business a superior competitive positioning. Today, GBA’s network comprises 39 locations and 44 laboratories with approximately 1,400 employees.

Under the ownership of Quadriga Capital, GBA has transformed into an institutionalized platform led by an entrepreneurial management team, which accelerated the company’s organic growth and widened its geographic reach through several synergetic acquisitions. Ardian and Quadriga Capital will partner with GBA’s management team to further grow the business through investments in its core, as well as expansion into new markets and continuing its focus on operational excellence.
Ardian has deep expertise and an extensive network in the TIC sector as well as the sub-segments served by GBA, and plans to support the Company’s management in the implementation of an international buy & build strategy, similar to Ardian’s approach with other successful investments.

Steffen Walter, CEO of GBA, commented: “The management team of GBA would like to thank Quadriga Capital for their strong support over the last years enabling GBA to become an institutionalized platform, substantially widen its service portfolio throughout our three core segments and to extend our geographical reach. Ardian’s interest in GBA is a testament to our resilience, consistent growth, future growth opportunities and independent market positioning. By partnering with Ardian, GBA will gain access to a large international TIC network and will accelerate its growth through organic growth investments and further M&A.”

The Ardian Buyout team in Germany added: “Given our dedicated sector focus, we followed GBA closely for many years. This acquisition is a good example of how Ardian invests thematically alongside trends and in our four key sectors focusing on strong, non-cyclical businesses with a variety of future growth avenues. We have been deeply impressed by the strong mix of entrepreneurial drive, business acumen and strategic vision of GBA’s management team. We are delighted about the prospect of working together with such an excellent team and all of GBA’s employees in accelerating the execution of the Company’s strategy.”

Philipp Jacobi, Managing Partner of Quadriga Capital’s advisor stated: “We would like to thank Steffen Walter and his team for the great and hard work over the last years. The strong team effort has been fundamental to significantly increase the scale, improve the competitive positioning and to truly transform GBA into a fast growing institutionalized platform. Together with Ardian as a new partner and the management team we are excited to embark on a new program of accelerated growth.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory consents.

ABOUT ARDIAN

Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$110bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base. Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world. Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 700 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of more than 1,000 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.
Ardian on Twitter @Ardian

ABOUT QUADRIGA CAPITAL

Quadriga Capital is recognized as the pioneering DACH mid-market private equity company with a broad international network. The company has raised and managed almost EUR2 billion in equity commitments from renowned international investors, which it has invested in some 43 companies and over 100 add-on acquisitions. The firm focuses on acquisitive and growth driven mid-market investments in healthcare, tech-enabled services and smart industries, with the aim of both maximizing value and generating meaningful societal impact through its institutionalized system of value creation. The vast majority of its investments are proprietary acquisitions, mostly of family-owned companies. Together with its emphasis on operating experience and industrial expertise, Quadriga Capital’s strong ethos of cultural excellence and collaboration leads it to be a supportive partner of market-leading entrepreneurial management teams to create and grow tomorrow’s international champions today.

ABOUT GBA GROUP

The GBA Group, founded in 1989, brings together a network of dynamic companies providing laboratory analysis and related services to customers in three major sectors: food, environment, and pharmaceuticals. The focus is on providing solutions that meet the needs of the customers in combination with scientific and technical expertise. The expert employees maintain a strong emphasis on providing high-quality service by communicating with customers intensively.

Press contacts

Ardian – Headland

Gregor Riemann

griemann@headlandconsultancy.com +44 (0)79 2080 2627

GBA Group

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Apollomics, Inc. and Iterion Therapeutics Announce Exclusive Collaboration and License Agreement to Develop and Commercialize Tegavivint in Greater China

Venture Invetors

Agreement will expand clinical development for a potent and selective small molecule targeting TBL1, a downstream target in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway

| Source : Apollomics, Inc.

FOSTER CITY, Calif., HANGZHOU, China and HOUSTON, Feb. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Apollomics, Inc., an innovative biopharmaceutical company committed to the discovery and development of mono- and combination- oncology therapies, and Iterion Therapeutics, Inc., a venture-backed, clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel cancer therapeutics, today announced an exclusive collaboration and license agreement for the development and commercialization of tegavivint in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, also known as Greater China.

Tegavivint is a potent and selective inhibitor of nuclear β-catenin that works through binding to TBL1 (Transducin Beta-like Protein One), a downstream target in the Wnt-signaling pathway. Iterion is pursuing the development of Tegavivint for the treatment of cancers where nuclear ß-catenin signaling is known to play a role. Tegavivint is currently the subject of a Phase 1/2a clinical trial in patients with progressive desmoid tumors.

“As a potent and selective small molecule targeting the Wnt-signaling pathway, Tegavivint is an ideal addition to our clinical development pipeline,” said Guo-Liang Yu, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Apollomics. “The preclinical work has demonstrated that the differentiated mechanism of action may be applicable in several indications as both a monotherapy and a combination treatment. We look forward to working with the Iterion team to expand development in Greater China.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Apollomics will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization in Greater China. Apollomics and Iterion will form a joint development committee to ensure ongoing collaboration of Tegavivint across indications and geographies. Iterion has received an initial cash payment for ongoing research and development costs in connection with the company’s global development of Tegavivint. Iterion is also eligible to receive potential development and sales milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties on net sales. Apollomics will be responsible for all costs related to development and commercialization activities for Tegavivint in Greater China.

Rahul Aras, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Iterion Therapeutics, added, “As we explore multiple indications for Tegavivint in the U.S., including desmoid tumors, acute myeloid leukemia, non-small cell lung cancer, and pediatric cancers, we are excited to partner with Apollomics to expand its development and potential commercialization in Greater China. With Apollomics’ oncology focus and growing footprint in China, they are the partner of choice to successfully advance Tegavivint for cancer patients in this region.”

About Tegavivint

Tegavivint is a potent and selective inhibitor of nuclear β-catenin that binds to TBL1 (Transducin βeta-like Protein One), a downstream target in the Wnt-signaling pathway. Targeting TBL1 may enable specific silencing of Wnt-pathway oncogenic gene expression without affecting other necessary cellular functions that are disrupted when targeting higher up the Wnt-pathway. This avoids toxicity issues common to other drugs in this pathway.

Tegavivint has the potential for clinical utility in multiple cancer types. Tegavivint is currently the subject of a Phase 1/2a clinical trial in progressive desmoid tumors. Desmoid tumors, a rare type of sarcoma for which there is no currently approved therapy, are driven primarily by nuclear β-catenin signaling and, thus, present an optimal indication for demonstrating the drug’s mechanism of action as the company pursues additional clinical programs. Tegavivint has also demonstrated anti-tumor activity in multiple pre-clinical models, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

About Iterion Therapeutics

Iterion Therapeutics is a venture-backed, clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel cancer therapeutics. The company’s lead product, Tegavivint, is a potent and selective inhibitor of nuclear β-catenin, an oncology target implicated in cell proliferation, differentiation, immune evasion and stem cell renewal. Research demonstrating anti-tumor activity in multiple pre-clinical models indicate that Tegavivint has the potential for clinical utility in multiple cancer types. Tegavivint is currently the subject of a Phase 1/2a clinical trial in patients with progressive desmoid tumors. Iterion is also pursuing development in additional cancers where nuclear β-catenin signaling has been shown to play a role, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and pediatric cancers, including sarcomas, lymphoma and other solid tumors. This research/clinical trial was supported with a $15.9 million grant from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas. For more information on Iterion, please visit https://iteriontherapeutics.com.

About Apollomics, Inc.

Apollomics, Inc. is an innovative biopharmaceutical company committed to the discovery and development of mono- and combination- oncology therapies to harness the immune system and target specific molecular pathways to eradicate cancer. The company’s existing pipeline consists of several development-stage assets, including novel, humanized monoclonal antibodies that restore the body’s immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells, and targeted therapies against uncontrolled growth signaling pathways. For more information, please visit www.apollomicsinc.com.

Iterion Therapeutics Contact:

Tiberend Strategic Advisors, Inc.
Ingrid Mezo (Media)
646-604-5150
imezo@tiberend.com

Apollomics Contacts:

Investor Contact:
Wilson W. Cheung
Chief Financial Officer
(650) 209-4436
wcheung@apollomicsinc.com

U.S. Media Contact:
Remy Bernarda
Corporate Communications
(415) 203-6386
remy.bernarda@apollomicsinc.com

China Media Contact:
Porda Havas International Finance Communications Group
Kelly Fung Phoenix Fung
General Manager Assistant Vice President
(852) 3150 6763 (852) 3150 6773
kelly.fung@pordahavas.com phoenix.fung@pordahavas.com

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Centessa Pharmaceuticals Launches with $250 Million Series A Financing and Unveils a New Kind of Pharmaceutical R&D Model

General Atlantic

Merger of 10 Privately Held Biotech Companies with Highly Validated Programs Led by Industry Leading Teams to Operate Under Centessa Umbrella

Company Founded by Medicxi with Financing Led by General Atlantic, and Co-led by Vida Ventures and Janus Henderson Investors

Saurabh Saha, M.D., Ph.D., Former Senior Vice President, R&D, and Global Head of Translational Medicine at Bristol Myers Squibb Appointed as Chief Executive Officer

Moncef Slaoui, Ph.D., Former Chief Scientific Advisor of Operation Warp Speed, Former Chairman of R&D at GlaxoSmithKline, Partner at Medicxi, Appointed as Chief Scientific Officer, Advisor

Centessa Pharmaceuticals (“Centessa”) launched today as a novel asset-centric pharmaceutical company designed and built to advance a portfolio of highly validated programs. Our asset-centric R&D model applied at scale has assembled assets led by specialized teams committed to accelerate development and reshape the traditional drug development process. The company was founded by Medicxi and raised $250 million in an oversubscribed Series A financing led by General Atlantic and co-led by Vida Ventures and Janus Henderson Investors. Additional blue-chip investors participated in the financing, including Boxer Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Wellington Management Company, BVF Partners L.P., EcoR1 Capital, Franklin Templeton, Logos Capital, Samsara BioCapital, LifeSci Venture Partners and an undisclosed U.S.-based, healthcare-focused fund.

In conjunction with its launch, Centessa has completed the merger of 10 private biotech companies (“Centessa Subsidiaries”) that will each continue to develop its assets with oversight from the Centessa management team. Each Centessa Subsidiary team is asset-focused, in that it prosecutes a single program or biological pathway, with leadership provided by subject matter experts who are given a high degree of autonomy to advance each program. With a singular focus on advancing superior science, combined with proprietary capabilities, including structure-based drug discovery and design, the subsidiary teams enable Centessa to potentially develop and deliver impactful medicines to patients.

“The vision of Centessa is to build a pharmaceutical company with a unique operational framework that aims to reduce some of the key R&D inefficiencies that classical pharmaceutical companies face because of structural constraints,” said Francesco De Rubertis, Ph.D., co-founder and Partner at Medicxi and Chairman of the Centessa Pharmaceuticals Board of Directors. “Our operations will be driven by an asset-centric approach, whereby each Centessa Subsidiary is solely focused on the execution of its programs with oversight from the highly experienced Centessa management team. The ambition of applying asset centricity at scale is to be able to deliver life altering medicines to patients with improved efficiency by boosting R&D productivity.”

Our Approach

Centessa brings together 10 companies from Medicxi’s portfolio with 15 high conviction programs led by experienced teams. Each Centessa Subsidiary is led by industry leaders and subject matter experts with deep experience directly related to key biological pathways that underpin the programs being advanced. These entrepreneurs who have catalyzed the creation of subsidiary companies will continue to advance novel science within the Centessa enterprise.

The Centessa Subsidiaries are comprised of ApcinteX, Capella BioScience, Janpix, LockBody, Morphogen-IX, Orexia Therapeutics, Palladio Biosciences, PearlRiver Bio, Pega-One, and Z Factor. The current Centessa Pharmaceuticals portfolio consists of four clinical stage programs, including two that are in late-stage clinical development, and more than 10 additional programs spanning diseases with high unmet need across oncology, hematology, immunology, inflammation, neuroscience and rare diseases.

“With this first-of-its kind model, we are bringing together programs with robust genetic and biological validation under one new pharmaceutical company that provides centralized resources to enable and empower asset-focused teams to advance highly impactful programs for patients,” said Saurabh Saha, M.D., Ph.D., Centessa’s Chief Executive Officer. “This approach encourages an environment where scientific teams are incentivized to maintain an unwavering focus on advancing medicines to key go/no-go inflection points based on data-driven decisions.”

Centessa will have the flexibility to deploy capital by adhering to a “follow-the-data” philosophy and will support each Centessa Subsidiary with centralized capabilities that enable advancement of its respective programs. These include manufacturing, regulatory and operational support to enable and expedite scientific prosecution of programs by subsidiary teams. Each team is uniquely incentivized to expeditiously interrogate key scientific hypotheses.

Moncef Slaoui, Ph.D, Chief Scientific Officer, Advisor of Centessa added, “In creating Centessa, we have strategically assembled our subsidiary portfolio to include programs with strong biological validation, mechanistic diversification, and teams with proprietary capabilities and insights. This high quality portfolio aims to deliver enhanced diversification, reduced risk and asymmetric upside with a view to withstanding the inherent low probability of success associated with drug development.”

Meet the Team

The Centessa Pharmaceuticals management team consists of biotech and pharmaceutical industry leaders who oversee decisions related to capital allocation, development plans and strategic transactions in partnership with the Centessa Subsidiaries.

Saurabh Saha, M.D., Ph.D., former Senior Vice President, R&D, and Global Head of translational medicine at Bristol Myers Squibb has been appointed as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. In addition, Moncef Slaoui, Ph.D., former Chief Scientific Advisor of Operation Warp Speed, former Chairman of R&D at GlaxoSmithKline, and Partner at Medicxi, has been appointed as Chief Scientific Officer, Advisor.

The Centessa Board of Directors includes Francesco De Rubertis, Ph.D., Medicxi, who will serve as the company’s Chairman; Aaron Kantoff, Medicxi; Brett Zbar, M.D., General Atlantic; and Arjun Goyal, M.D., M.Phil., Vida Ventures.

“We believe Centessa represents a unique opportunity in our sector,” said Brett Zbar, M.D., Managing Director and Global Head of life sciences at General Atlantic. “The high-quality science and entrepreneurial drive within each of the Centessa Subsidiaries, combined with this deeply experienced leadership team, has the potential to bring important medicines to patients with speed and efficiency.”

“Centessa’s bold vision and unique operating model are supported by compelling clinical programs, strong data and a stellar team,” said Arjun Goyal, M.D., M.Phil., Co-Founder and Managing Director at Vida Ventures. “We believe Centessa’s approach can ultimately lead to impactful medicines that will benefit patients globally.”

ABOUT THE CENTESSA SUBSIDIARIES

ApcinteX

ApcinteX is developing SerpinPC, a specific inhibitor of the anticoagulant protease activated protein C (APC), for the treatment for hemophilia A and hemophilia B, with or without inhibitors.

Capella BioScience

Capella Bioscience is developing CBS001, a neutralizing therapeutic monoclonal antibody to the inflammatory membrane form of LIGHT (known as TNFSF14), for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Capella BioScience is also developing CBS004, a therapeutic monoclonal antibody to blood dendritic cell antigen 2 (BDCA2), for the treatment of lupus erythematosus (systemic and cutaneous) and systemic sclerosis.

Janpix

Janpix is developing a novel class of selective dual-STAT3/5 small molecule monovalent degraders for the treatment of various hematological malignancies, including leukemias and lymphomas.

LockBody

LockBody is pioneering a platform technology to develop LockBody CD47 (LB1) and LockBody CD3 (LB2) for optimal targeting of solid tumors by the innate immune system.

Morphogen-IX

Morphogen-IX is developing MGX292, a protein-engineered variant of human bone morphogenetic protein-9 (BMP9), for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Orexia Therapeutics

Orexia Therapeutics is developing oral and intranasal orexin receptor agonists using structure-based drug design approaches. These agonists target the treatment of narcolepsy type 1, where they have the potential to directly address the underlying pathology of orexin neuron loss, as well as other neurological disorders characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness.

Palladio

Palladio is developing lixivaptan, an oral non-peptide, new chemical agent that works by selectively suppressing the activity of the hormone vasopressin at the V2 receptor, as a treatment for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease with the goal of slowing the progression of kidney function decline and avoiding the liver safety issues associated with tolvaptan.

PearlRiver Bio

PearlRiver Bio is developing ​potent and selective oral exon20 insertion mutation inhibitors intended to have ​minimal activity on wild-type EGFR and optimal pharmacokinetic properties, ​for the treatment of EGFR exon 20 insertion (with potential to target and treat Her2 exon 20 insertions) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). PearlRiver Bio is also developing oral inhibitors targeting C797S-mutant EGFR and undisclosed next generation EGFR inhibitors for NSCLC.

PegaOne

PegaOne is developing imgatuzumab, a humanized, non-fucosylated, anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody for the treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and other solid tumor indications.

Z Factor

Z Factor is developing ZF874, a small molecule chemical chaperone intended to rescue folding of the Z variant of alpha-1-antitrypsin, increasing serum levels of active protein and reducing accumulation in the liver, for the treatment of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.

ABOUT CENTESSA

Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited is a next-generation biopharmaceutical company that aims to reshape the traditional drug development process. The company applies an asset-centric R&D model at scale to advance a portfolio of highly validated programs led by industry leading teams. Each program is developed by an Centessa Subsidiary and supported by a centralized infrastructure and the Centessa management team. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, visit www.centessa.com

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Statements we make in this press release may include statements that are not historical facts and are considered forward-looking within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), which are usually identified by the use of words such as “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “plans,” “projects,” “seeks,” and variations of such words or similar expressions. We intend these forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act and are making this statement for purposes of complying with those safe harbor provisions. These forward-looking statements, including statements relating to expectations, plans and prospects regarding the clinical development plans and timing, clinical trial designs, clinical and therapeutic potential, and strategy for any of our programs reflect our current views about our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects, which are based on the information currently available to us and on assumptions we have made. Although we believe that our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects as reflected in or suggested by those forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that the plans, intentions, expectations or strategies will be attained or achieved. Furthermore, actual results may differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements and will be affected by a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, but not limited to, the success of clinical trials, regulatory filings, and approvals. These forward-looking statements are based upon the current expectations and beliefs of Centessa’s management team as of the date of this release and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Furthermore, Centessa operates in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment in which new risks emerge from time to time. Except as required by applicable law, we assume no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Media Contacts

Mary Armstrong & Emily Japlon
General Atlantic media@generalatlantic.com

Dan Budwick
1AB dan@1abmedia.com

Mary Clark & Shabnam Bashir
Optimum Strategic Communications centessa@optimumcomms.com

Marcus Veith
VEITHing Spirit +41 79 20 75 111 marcus@vspirit.ch

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Bain Capital Private Equity and Cinven enter into definitive agreements to acquire Lonza Specialty Ingredients

Cinven

Today, Bain Capital Private Equity (“Bain Capital”) and Cinven (together “the consortium”) have entered into definitive agreements to acquire Lonza Specialty Ingredients (“LSI”), a division of Lonza AG, for a total enterprise value of CHF 4.2 billion.

LSI is a world-leading provider of specialty chemicals for microbial control solutions, used to eliminate or control harmful and unwanted micro-organisms. LSI’s products are critical ingredients in disinfectants, preservatives, sanitisers, personal care products, as well as coatings and other industrial uses. The business also produces a range of other specialty chemicals, centred around its unique production facility in Switzerland.

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, LSI has approximately 2,800 employees, 11 R&D centres and 17 manufacturing sites across the world. The business serves circa 5,300 customers across a wide range of end-markets.

LSI is a strong company, which presents an attractive investment opportunity for a number of reasons:

  • LSI provides a range of differentiated specialty chemical products, underpinned by strong R&D capabilities, regulatory and IP protections, and a highly qualified and dedicated workforce;
  • The microbial control solutions market benefits from structural growth due to favourable penetration trends, supportive regulatory dynamics, and the growing need to protect society from harmful micro-organisms;
  • The business serves a diversified set of attractive end-markets, with a particularly strong presence in the Professional Hygiene and Home & Personal Care segments;
  • The business enjoys leading positions in North America and Europe, with longstanding customer relationships and extensive regulatory expertise.

The strategy of the consortium is to:

  • Enhance the R&D capabilities of LSI to continue to develop innovative chemistries to control the spread of microbes (such as viruses and bacteria) in a sustainable and responsible manner;
  • Build deeper customer relationships through customised application development in a complex regulatory environment, and to provide an even greater range of microbial control formulations;
  • Consolidate the microbial control solutions market through buy-and-build opportunities in the sector, which remains fragmented;
  • Invest further in the world-class production facility in Visp, Switzerland, to enhance its unique technical capabilities and high quality specialty chemicals portfolio.

Pontus Pettersson, Partner at Cinven, commented:

“Cinven and Bain Capital are delighted to invest in LSI, as a global leader in a specialty chemicals category that serves a critical need for society, across a broad range of end-markets.”

“LSI enjoys a strong market position globally, underpinned by deep customer relationships, a continuous track record of innovation and product development, and extensive regulatory capabilities.”

David Danon, Managing Director at Bain Capital added:

“LSI has multiple attractive growth opportunities as the leading global player in the growing market for microbial control. Our strategy is to reinforce the company’s market position, to accelerate growth through further investment in R&D and innovation, and to use LSI as a platform for further industry consolidation, in line with Bain Capital’s and Cinven’s strategies in other sectors.”

The consortium is committed to growing businesses responsibly, and recognises the importance of the environmental, regulatory and stakeholder responsibilities of LSI. Both Bain Capital and Cinven have a strong track record of growing industrial companies in Europe and North America, as well as successfully carving out businesses in an efficient, seamless manner for all stakeholders. The consortium intends to collaborate closely with Lonza AG going forward (notably at the Visp site), as well as with employee representative bodies in Switzerland and across the group, and to become the employer of choice in this sector.

The transaction is expected to close in H2 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

Advisors to the consortium include: Kirkland & Ellis, Freshfields, Lenz & Staehelin (legal); Ernst & Young (financial, tax); Boston Consulting Group (commercial); Alvarez & Marsal (operations); ERM (environment, regulation); Nexant (technical); The Valence Group of Piper Sandler, Opus Corporate Finance, Trumont (M&A).

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General Atlantic to Invest US$55 Million in Kalbe Genexine Biologics

General Atlantic

Capital to fuel Company’s strategic growth into a leading biologics platform in the Southeast Asia region

Kalbe Genexine Biologics (“KGBio” or “the Company”), a leading integrated biologics holding company focused on the in-licensing, clinical development,  and manufacturing of novel biologicals and biosimilar molecules, today announced that General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm, will invest US$55 million in primary capital in the Company. The investment will support KGBio’s ongoing clinical development and commercialization needs, asset acquisition plan, and production capacity expansion efforts.

KGBio’s ambition is to play a leading role in increasing biological and biosimilar drug availability in the Southeast Asia region. Founded as a joint venture between Kalbe Farma, a leading healthcare and pharmaceuticals company in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, and Genexine, a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company in South Korea, KGBio is positioned for strategic growth. A combination of factors, including affordability constraints and lack of local manufacturing capabilities, have slowed the penetration of biologicals in the region. Biologicals have emerged as an important category of drug development over the past 20 years, with breakthrough advances in disease management, particularly in areas such as immuno-oncology, a key focus area for the Kalbe Group and KGBio. KGBio has built robust capabilities in clinical development and manufacturing and plans to leverage Kalbe Farma’s strength in distribution and global networks to create a large portfolio of biologicals for the Southeast Asia region.

Irawaty Setiady, President Commissioner of Kalbe Farma, said, “Biologicals is a key growth lever for the Kalbe Group. As an R&D-driven organization, we are committed to bringing global innovation in medicine and improving the accessibility and affordability of critical drugs for patients across the Southeast Asia region. We welcome the opportunity to partner with General Atlantic, a leading global investor in life sciences, to help realize our vision in Southeast Asia and beyond.”

Sandeep Naik, Managing Director and Head of India & Southeast Asia at General Atlantic, said, “We admire KGBio’s vision to bring affordable, high-quality biological products to Southeast Asia and look forward to working in partnership with Kalbe Farma and Genexine to advance this mission. With significant existing momentum, we believe KGBio is positioned to becoming a leading biologics platform in the Southeast Asia region as the Company continues to scale.”

Dr. Sung Young-Chul, CEO of Genexine and commissioner of KGBio, said “We are very pleased to have General Atlantic come onboard as a partner in KGBio. Genexine shares Kalbe Farma’s vision to create a leading biotech platform for the Southeast Asia region. Our partnership with Kalbe to bring leading global biotechnology innovation has been very successful so far, and we look forward to the next phase of growth as this new alliance helps us bring our goal closer.”

Sie Djohan, Director of Kalbe Farma and CEO of KGBio, said, “Our partnership with General Atlantic represents a new milestone in KGBio’s growth trajectory beyond Indonesia and Southeast Asia. As a global player in life sciences, General Atlantic brings an extensive network and deep expertise in innovation that KGBio aims to leverage. Having made considerable progress in the clinical development, regulatory approvals and commercialization of our novel and biosimilar molecules, we aim to further expand our portfolio and reach with the support of Genexine and General Atlantic as our partners.”

Ashish Saboo, Managing Director and Head of Indonesia at General Atlantic, said, “KGBio is committed to meeting the challenging healthcare needs of the Southeast Asia region by providing effective, affordable treatments for chronic health conditions. The Company is underpinned by Kalbe Farma’s leading R&D and governance standards, strong portfolio, integrated facilities, experienced management team, and extensive distribution network, as well as Genexine’s clinical development expertise. We are thrilled to back KGBio on their journey to drive global biotechnology innovation.”

About Kalbe Genexine Biologics (KGBio)

KGBio aims to provide high-quality, affordable, and innovative biologics, biosimilars, and immuno-oncology products to the Southeast Asia market. KGBio was founded in 2016 as a joint venture between Kalbe Farma Tbk (IDX:KLBF), a leading pharma company in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, and Genexine (KOSDAQ: 095700), a South Korea-based clinical-stage biotechnology company.

KGBio has licensed two advanced clinical-stage biological drugs (PD-1 for various oncology indications, and a third-generation Erythropoietin for CKD-induced anemia) and one early clinical-stage novel biological drug:

  • PD-1 Antibody (HLX10): HLX10 is a humanized anti-PD1 monoclonal antibody. It is being evaluated for the treatment of multiple tumor indications, as well as chronic hepatitis B infections. KGBio has taken licenses for squamous non-small-cell lung cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma indications in which global phase III studies are in progress.
  • EPO hyFc (GX-E4): GX-E4 is a novel long-acting erythropoietin-hybrid Fc fusion protein. It is being evaluated in a phase III study for the treatment of anemia related to chronic kidney disease in Southeast Asian countries, Taiwan, and Australia.
  • CD73 Antibody (TJD5): TJD5 is a CD73-antagonistic antibody. CD73 is the rate-limiting enzyme that converts extracellular AMP to adenosine, a potent immunosuppressive molecule in the tumor micro-environment. TJD5 is being evaluated in a phase I study in combination with Atezolizumab.

KGBio fully owns Innogene Kalbiotech (“Innogene”) and holds a controlling stake in Kalbio Global Medika (“Kalbio”). Innogene is a biosimilar platform and currently has four monoclonal antibody drugs (Rituximab, Nimotuzumab, Trastuzumab, and Bevacizumab). Kalbio is a biological manufacturing facility with bioreactor capacity for mammalian cell-lines. For more information, please visit the website: www.kg-biologics.com.

About General Atlantic

General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. Established in 1980, General Atlantic combines a collaborative global approach, sector specific expertise, a long-term investment horizon and a deep understanding of growth drivers to partner with great entrepreneurs and management teams to build market-leading businesses worldwide. General Atlantic has more than 175 investment professionals based in New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, Greenwich, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Shanghai and Singapore. For more information on General Atlantic, please visit the website: www.generalatlantic.com.

About Genexine

Genexine, Inc. (KOSDAQ:095700) is a clinical stage biotechnology company, focused on the development and commercialization of immunotherapeutics and long-acting biologics in South Korea. It develops hyFcTM platform, a proprietary technology designed to drive the discovery of various differentiated agonistic protein therapeutics, and the Immune Enhancing Technology, a therapeutic DNA vaccine technology. For more information, please visit the website: www.genexine.com.

About Kalbe Farma

PT Kalbe Farma Tbk (IDX:KLBF) is a leading pharmaceuticals company in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. It was established in 1966 and is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia. Kalbe Farma operates in four main divisions: prescription pharmaceuticals, consumer health, nutrition, and distribution and logistics. For more information, please visit the website: www.kalbe.co.id.

Media Contacts

Mary Armstrong & Emily Japlon
General Atlantic media@generalatlantic.com

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MinervaX raises upsized EUR 47.4M (USD 57M) Series B to advance its novel Group B Streptococcus vaccine through mid-stage clinical trials

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Industriefonden

On the back of highly promising Phase Ib data, MinervaX has raised financing from leading investors to accelerate development of its novel vaccine through the end of Phase II trials and preparations for Phase III pivotal trials

– Sanofi Ventures, Wellington Partners, Adjuvant Capital, and Industrifonden join existing investors Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund, Sunstone Life Science Ventures and LF Investment

– Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is one of the leading causes of stillbirth and infant mortality representing a significant unmet need globally, including in the US and Europe; nearly one in five women globally are colonized by GBS


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MinervaX

Dec 15, 2020, 02:00 ET


COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — MinervaX, a privately held Danish biotechnology company developing a novel vaccine against Group B Streptococcus (GBS), announced today that it has raised an upsized EUR 47.4 million Series B financing. The round included new investors Sanofi Ventures, Wellington Partners, Adjuvant Capital, and Industrifonden, along with existing investors Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund, Sunstone Life Science Ventures, and LF Investment. Proceeds will advance the clinical development of MinervaX’s novel GBS vaccine through Phase II clinical trials, as well as manufacturing and regulatory preparation for Phase III.

Concurrent with the financing, Christopher Gagliardi from Sanofi Ventures, Karl Nägler from Wellington Partners, Kabeer Aziz from Adjuvant Capital and Bita Sehat from Industrifonden will join MinervaX’s board of directors.

GBS is responsible for nearly half of all life-threatening infections in newborns. MinervaX’s protein-only GBS vaccine targets pregnant women for the prevention of adverse pregnancy outcomes and life-threatening neonatal infections associated with GBS. Globally, 15-25% of women are colonized with GBS, and they run the risk of transmitting the bacteria to their child in utero, during birth and / or during their first months of life. GBS colonization may lead to late-term abortions, premature delivery or stillbirth; and in newborn children may result in sepsis, pneumonia or meningitis, all of which carry a significant risk of severe morbidity, long-term disability or death.

Currently, the only preventative strategy available involves the use of intravenously delivered prophylactic antibiotics, which does not comprehensively prevent GBS infection in utero or protect against late-onset infection in newborns. As this approach is expensive and logistically challenging, it fails to cover all, including the most severe cases in the US and Europe, nor is it available in resource-limited settings.

Commenting on the financing, Per Fischer, CEO of MinervaX, said: “Prevention of GBS infections in pregnant women and newborns represents a large unmet medical need. The current preventive strategy is insufficient and involves excessive use of prophylactic antibiotics, which has resulted in the emergence of wide-spread antibiotic resistance.”

“We are pleased to have received funding from such a strong investment syndicate. It is a significant endorsement of the potential of our vaccine. We look forward to advancing our novel vaccine candidate through Phase II clinical trials to develop a new standard of care in preventing GBS infections.”

Commenting on the investment, Christopher Gagliardi, Director of Investments at Sanofi Ventures, said: “Sanofi Ventures is tremendously excited by the first and best in class potential of MinervaX’s GBS vaccine. We are thrilled to invest alongside a top-tier investor syndicate while supporting Sanofi’s strategic goals and commitment to early stage companies advancing global public health.”

Karl Nägler, Managing Partner at Wellington Partners said: “We are proud and excited to back MinervaX’s GBS program that will address an unmet high medical need and represents a blockbuster commercial opportunity. Beyond prevention of GBS infections in newborns, we are eager to explore important further indications for this much needed vaccine.”

Emmanuelle Coutanceau, Partner at Novo Seeds and Board Member at MinervaX, added: “MinervaX is developing an important vaccine against a potentially fatal pathogen and, in doing so, is furthering the battle against antimicrobial resistance.  This is a landmark for the Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund with the first company in the fund moving to Phase II. We are also delighted to help bring together such a strong syndicate in a company where Novo was one of the first investors.”

MinervaX has completed Phase I studies across 300 healthy female subjects, generating compelling data to support advancing its novel vaccine candidate to Phase II trials. Studies to date have demonstrated a favourable safety profile, while generating high levels of long-lasting antibodies, which are capable of mobilizing the immune system against GBS bacteria and preventing invasion of epithelial and endothelial cell barriers.

The development of MinervaX’s novel GBS vaccine candidate is also endorsed by Group B Strep Support and Group B Strep International, and GBS has been prioritised by a number of public health organisations. Both increased uptake of immunisation among pregnant women and greater awareness of the implications of GBS suggest that a safe and effective vaccine targeting GBS would be well suited to address this unmet need.

About MinervaX

MinervaX is a Danish biotechnology company, established in 2010 in order to develop a prophylactic vaccine against Group B Streptococcus (GBS), based on research from Lund University. MinervaX is developing a GBS vaccine for maternal immunization, likely to have superior characteristics compared with other GBS vaccine candidates in development. The latter are based on traditional capsular polysaccharide (CPS) conjugate technology. By contrast, MinervaX’s vaccine is a protein-only vaccine based on fusions of highly immunogenic and protective protein domains from selected surface proteins of GBS (the Alpha-like protein family). Given the broad distribution of proteins contained in the vaccine on GBS strains globally, it is expected that MinervaX’s vaccine will confer protection against virtually 100% of all GBS isolates. www.minervax.com

About Group B Streptococcus (GBS)

GBS is responsible for nearly 50% of all life-threatening infections in newborns. At any given time, some 15-25% of women are spontaneously colonized with GBS, and they run the risk of transmitting the bacteria to their child in the womb, during birth and/or during the first months of life. GBS colonization may lead to late abortions, premature delivery or stillbirth and, in the newborn child, may result in sepsis, pneumonia or meningitis, all of which carry a significant risk of severe morbidity, long-term disability or death.

About Sanofi Ventures 

Sanofi Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Sanofi. Sanofi Ventures invests in early-stage biotech and digital health companies with innovative ideas and transformative new products and technologies of strategic interest to Sanofi. Among these areas are vaccines, oncology, immunology, rare diseases, potential cures in other core areas of Sanofi’s business footprint, and digital health solutions. For more information, visit www.sanofiventures.com.

About Novo Holdings A/S

Novo Holdings is recognized as a leading international life science investor, with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life science investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a broad portfolio of diversified financial assets. Further information: http://www.novoholdings.dk

About REPAIR Impact Fund

The Fund invests in start-ups, early-stage companies and corporate spin-outs around the world. It gives priority to first-in-class therapies, covering small molecules, biologics and new modalities, from the early stage of drug development (lead optimization) to later stages of clinical development (into Phase 2). It can invest as the sole investor or in a syndicate, with investments ranging from EUR 1 million to EUR 12 million.

The projects are selected through an investment process with support from a highly qualified Scientific Selection Board, comprising ten world-class experts. For more information about members of the Scientific Selection Board, see www.repair-impact-fund.com/people.

The Fund focuses on priority pathogens as defined by the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a catalogue of 18 families of bacterial and fungal pathogens that pose the greatest threat to human health. For more details about the investment process, see www.repair-impact-fund.com/investment-process.

REPAIR is an acronym: Replenishing and Enabling the Pipeline for Anti-Infective Resistance

About Wellington Partners

Wellington Partners is a leading European venture capital firm investing in early- and growth-stage life science companies. Wellington Partners is focused on investing in the most promising life science companies in the fields of biotechnology, therapeutics, medical technology, diagnostics and digital health. With funds totaling more than €1 billion, thereof €430 million committed to Life Sciences, Wellington Partners has been actively supporting world class private companies translating true innovation into successful businesses with exceptional growth. To date, Wellington Partners has invested in 46 innovative life science companies, including Actelion (acquired by J&J), Definiens (acquired by AZ), Invendo (acquired by Ambu), Rigontec (acquired by MSD), Symetis (acquired by Boston Scientific), and Themis (acquired by MSD). www.wellington-partners.com

About Adjuvant Capital

Adjuvant is a New York– and San Francisco-based life sciences investment fund built to accelerate the development of new technologies for the world’s most pressing public health challenges. Backed by prominent healthcare investors such as Novartis, Merck, the International Finance Corporation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Adjuvant draws upon its global network of scientists, public health experts, biopharmaceutical industry veterans, and development finance professionals to identify new investment opportunities. Adjuvant invests in companies developing promising new vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for historically overlooked indications targeting high-burden infectious diseases, maternal and child health, and antimicrobial resistance, with a commitment to make these interventions accessible to those who need them most in low- and middle-income countries. For more information, visit www.adjuvantcapital.com

About Industrifonden

Industrifonden is a Nordic venture capital investor based in Stockholm that invests in early-stage growth companies. Our areas of expertise include Life Sciences, Deep Tech and Transformative Tech. In the life science space, our focus is on biotech, heathtech and medtech, and our life-science portfolio includes companies like Oncopeptides, Calliditas and Bonesuppport. www.industrifonden.com

About Sunstone Life Science Ventures

Sunstone Life Science Ventures is an independent European venture capital investment firm founded in 2007 by an international team of industry experts with combined entrepreneurial, operational and financial experience. Sunstone Life Science Ventures focuses on developing and expanding early-stage Life Science companies with strong potential to achieve global success in their markets. Since the inception, Sunstone Life Science Ventures has invested in more than 50 companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical technologies and diagnostics, and has completed more than 20 successful IPOs and large M&A transactions. Managing total funds of approx. €500 million, Sunstone Life Science Ventures is one of the largest Nordic venture capital investors. https://sunstone.eu/

LF Investment

LF Investment is an investment company fully owned by The Lauritzen Foundation. www.lauritzenfonden.com

SOURCE MinervaX

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Latour establishes Latour Future Solutions and invests in Gaia BioMaterials AB

Latour logo

2020-11-23 08:30

Investment AB Latour (publ) has, through its subsidiary Latour Industries, established a new investment area, Latour Future Solutions. The investment area targets sustainability-focused growth companies, where Latour can contribute with industrial expertise to accelerate the development of solutions for a long-term sustainable society. Pelle Mattisson has been recruited to lead Latour Future Solutions AB.

In connection with the establishment, Latour has made its first investment in Gaia BioMaterials AB, a company that develops and manufactures biodegradable biomaterials from renewable sources to replace fossil-based plastics. The company was founded in 2011 and has 16 employees with headquarters and manufacturing in Helsingborg, Sweden. Net sales in 2019 amounted to SEK 40 m.

“With its patented biomaterial BioDoloMer®, Gaia BioMaterials is involved in changing the plastics industry. Their material helps to reduce climate change and do not create microplastics during degradation, areas we have identified as very interesting. We have known them for some time and are proud to become a partner in their continued growth journey”, says Björn Lenander, CEO of Latour Industries.

“Becoming part of Latour not only means that we get a strong and stable minority owner, it also opens up new expansion and development opportunities for us. We look forward to continuing to develop Gaia BioMaterials together”, says Peter Stenström, CEO of Gaia BioMaterials.

The investment has taken place via a directed share issue in Gaia BioMaterials, where Latour Future Solutions AB has entered as a minority owner.

Göteborg, 23 November 2020

INVESTMENT AB LATOUR (PUBL)
Johan Hjertonsson, CEO

For further information, please contact:
Björn Lenander, CEO Latour Industries AB, +46 708 19 47 36
Pelle Mattisson, Latour Future Solutions AB, +46 705 80 06 57

Investment AB Latour is a mixed investment company consisting primarily of a wholly-owned industrial operations and an investment portfolio of listed holdings in which Latour is the principal owner or one of the principal owners. The investment portfolio consists of nine substantial holdings with a market value of about SEK 68 billion. The wholly-owned industrial operations has an annual turnover of SEK 15 billion.

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