Circassia Raises GBP11 Million ($21.8 Million) in Oversubscribed Second Round Funding
OXFORD, England, January 29 -- Circassia Ltd, a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on controlling immune system responses, announced today that it has successfully raised GBP11 million ($21.8 million) in an oversubscribed second round funding. The investment syndicate includes new investors Goldman Sachs and Invesco Perpetual, as well as existing investors, including Imperial Innovations and Lansdowne Partners.
"Completing this financing is a testament to the potential of Circassia's business, management and technology," said Steve Harris, Circassia's CEO. "We have made good progress advancing our anti-allergy products during the last year, and successfully completing this funding, particularly in the current challenging market conditions, is a strong vote of confidence from a syndicate of world-class investors."
Circassia, whose immune control technologies target allergies and organ rejection, completed an initial investment round of GBP6 million ($11.8 million) in January 2007. During the last year the company has finalised preparations to complete the phase II clinical testing programme for its lead product against cat dander allergy, and finalised the acquisition of its ToleroTrans organ anti-rejection technology. Following this second investment round, Circassia has increased its current cash balance to GBP15 million ($29.8 million), and plans to utilise the funds both to progress its clinical development programmes and to acquire additional technologies that fit its specialty business model.
Circassia's products have the potential to address significant market opportunities. Currently, over 150 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis in the US and Europe, and existing treatments either provide symptomatic relief only or require lengthy specialist physician supervision over a period of many months due to potential serious, even life-threatening, adverse reactions. In contrast, Circassia's technology uses small sections of the allergen molecules responsible for causing allergies (termed T-cell epitopes) to rapidly desensitize sufferers, while minimizing the potential for adverse reactions. The company's ToleroTrans technology uses a similar scientific approach designed to desensitize transplant patients and thereby reduce the risk of organ rejection.
Circassia is a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on developing medicines designed to control immune system responses. The company has a highly experienced management team with a proven track record in product development and commercialisation, and having successfully completed two substantial fundraising rounds is backed by a syndicate of world-class venture capital and institutional investors.
Circassia's lead products target allergies utilising the company's proprietary T-cell epitope desensitization technology, which was originally developed at Imperial College London. The company is also developing its ToleroTrans organ anti-rejection technology, which uses a similar approach to down-regulate immune responses in transplant patients. Circassia has a number of ongoing development programmes, with the most advanced against cat dander allergy having successfully completed a phase II clinical trial.