Cellerix bags $40M in venture funds for stem cell work

Spain's Cellerix has gathered a group of investors--including two Big Pharma funds--willing to double down on its development of promising adult stem cell therapies. Today the developer announced that it has raised another €27 million--$40.5 million--in venture cash, providing the financial fuel it needs to get its lead therapy ready for an expected marketing launch in the second half of 2011.

"This capital injection will allow us to continue with the development of all of our programs following the planned schedule, as well as enabling us to defend and increase Cellerix' leading position in the field, helping us to become the first company to commercialize a cell therapy medicine in Europe," said Cellerix CEO Eduardo Bravo. Cellerix's lead therapy is Ontaril, a late-stage orphan cell therapy intended to treat perianal fistulas. Next in the pipeline is a skin regeneration program.

The round was led by YSIOS Capital Partners, Life Science Partners and Ventech. Grupo Genetrix also played a key role in the deal, and two of Cellerix' current investors--Roche Venture Fund and Novartis Venture Fund--have significantly increased their stake.  A&G and Cellerix's own management team have also subscribed to the capital increase. Cellerix completed another financing round for €27.2 million in September 2007.

- check out the Cellerix's release

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