Combined Entity Raises Euro 20.6 Million in Series A Funding
Halle (Saale) and Munich, Germany // Probiodrug AG, a developer of small molecule inhibitors against inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, has acquired Ingenium Pharmaceuticals AG, a discovery and development company focused on inflammatory diseases, both companies announced today.
The combined entity has simultaneously closed a Series A financing round of Euro 20.6 million (US$ 27.6 million) to ensure the rapid development of the company’s pipeline of compounds targeted to treat Alzheimer’s disease and chronic inflammatory diseases. TVM Capital and HBM BioVentures (Cayman) Ltd. financed together with IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH (IBG), Sachsen LB Corporate Finance Holding GmbH (CFH), tbg Technologiebeteiligungsgesellschaft (tbg), TechnoFonds Bayern (BayernKapital), the Probiodrug management and Prof Georg Frank, the present Chairman of Probiodrug.
Dr Konrad Glund, CEO of Probiodrug, stated: “This acquisition enables Probiodrug to create a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company. Ingenium’s state of the art facility together with its extensive experience in biology-based discovery and animal pharmacology perfectly complements Probiodrug`s in-house capabilities in molecular biology, enzymology, chemistry, preclinical and clinical development. In addition, Ingenium’s therapeutic programs fit nicely into the combined pipeline.”
Probiodrug is developing a completely new approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases, focusing on the enzyme glutaminyl cyclase (“QC”). The Series A financing will allow Probiodrug to advance preclinical and clinical development of its small molecule drugs.
Prof Hans-Ulrich Demuth, CSO of Probiodrug, states: “Probiodrug has pioneered a new treatment paradigm in type 2 diabetes: First DP4-inhibitors reached the market in the US in 2006 and in Europe in early 2007. Work on DP4 inhibition has financed the company for ten years and enabled the creation of an experienced team covering all aspects of the drug discovery process. The integration of Ingenium’s animal pharmacology unit reinforces these capabilities. The new QC inhibitors are aimed to change treatment paradigms in neurodegenerative disorders. Probiodrug has built a strong IP-position consisting of medical use and composition of matter patents as well as unique and proprietary know how, assays, animal models and inhibitor compounds. The new approach targets the etiology of Alzheimer’s syndrome. It is novel to the industry and has considerable first mover advantage.”
“We believe that this acquisition creates an exciting new company with the necessary resources to propel its pipeline forward. We look forward to its success in the future,” added Dr Michael C. Nehls, CEO of Ingenium. “Although Probiodrug will maintain the Munich location and key Ingenium staff, Ingenium’s executive management will leave to pursue new opportunities.”
Dr Christoph Schröder, Venture Partner at TVM Capital and Supervisory Board member of Ingenium stated: “We have been following Probiodrug’s remarkable evolution over several years and so were very positive when we learned about their interest in Ingenium AG. It is unique for a private biotech company to achieve the combination of deep, highly innovative, biology-driven research with the tangible commercial success that Probiodrug’s mature management team was already able to deliver through its various transactions with leading Big Pharma organizations.”
“In addition to Ingenium’s drug candidates for treating inflammatory diseases, the company’s know-how is a significant addition to Probiodrug’s proven small molecule approach,” commented Dr Erich Platzer, Investment Advisor at HBM Partners (Advisor to HBM BioVentures) and Supervisory Board Chairman of Ingenium. “With this breadth of capabilities, we see the new entity as well-positioned to become a leader in treating neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases.”
Probiodrug is a drug discovery company with a focus on distinct proteins as drug targets. The company endeavors to identify new orally active compounds for selectively modifying enzymatic activity in order to derive therapeutic effects in neuronal and autoimmune disorders. Probiodrug actively pursues patent protection for its lead and back-up compounds as well as for fundamental treatment technologies in various indications. The company is the pioneer in the field of QC–inhibition, a new approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Before it focused on QC, it was the pioneer in the field of DP 4 – inhibition for treatment of type 2 diabetes. Probiodrug successfully commercialized its DP 4 approach with Merck & Co., USA, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Ortho-McNeil, Inc., Novartis Pharma and OSI Prosidion Ltd., respectively.
TVM Capital, founded in 1983 under the name Techno Venture Management, is one of the first venture capital firms formed in Germany and an early entrant into the US market in 1986. Since inception TVM Capital has raised over € 1.3 billion in six fund generations and has established itself as a leading technology investment group in Europe and the United States. TVM Capital funds have made investments in more than 235 technology and life science companies where innovation, effective management and sound financial backing have enormous impact on company growth. The TVM Capital in-depth knowledge of the European and US environment helps companies create businesses that enjoy access to science, management talent, distribution channels and capital on both sides of the Atlantic. More than 50 companies went public at European or US stock exchanges. Today, TVM Capital is actively invested in over 70 companies.
For more information please visit: www.tvm-capital.com
HBM BioVentures invests worldwide in the human medicine, biotechnology and medical technology sectors. As a venture capital company it manages a mature, widely diversified portfolio of private and small-cap public young companies. Investors value HBM BioVentures as an integral part of their healthcare portfolio, giving them access to this newly created investment segment with its high value creation potential. HBM BioVentures is an active, long-term investor in research and development which finances, accompanies and supports portfolio companies as a key partner. With net assets of over CHF 1 billion, HBM BioVentures is one of the most liquid investment funds in this sector. Lean structures ensure a competitive cost structure, while wideranging expertise, operating industrial experience, highest professional standards and transparency distinguish the company. HBM BioVentures Ltd has a broad shareholder base.
For more information please visit: www.hbmpartners.com
Dr Konrad Glund, CEO
D-06120 Halle (Saale)
Tel.: +49 345 55599-00
Fax: +49 345 55599-01
Dr Ludger Weß
Obere Hauptstr. 9a
Tel.: +49 8165 809724
Fax: +49 8165 901795