Evolva raises CHF 28 million in First Closing of Series B

Evolva raises CHF 28 million in First Closing of Series B

Basel, Switzerland, 22 October 2009 - Evolva SA, a Swiss headquartered international biotech company today announced a CHF 28 million first closing of its Series B financing round. The Series B financing is led by current investor Aravis and new investors Auriga Partners, Vinci Capital - Renaissance PME and Wellington Partners. BioMedInvest and an undisclosed private investor participated as co-investors in the first closing, as well as Evolva's existing investors Astellas Venture, Dansk Innovation, Novartis Bioventures and Sunstone Capital.

"We are impressed by Evolva's innovative technology, the interesting compounds pipeline and its international business model," commented Patrick Scherrer representing Vinci Capital - Renaissance PME. "We have confidence in the great potential of Evolva's approach and consequently have decided to engage with the company."

The first closing is part of Evolva's preparations to merge with Swiss biotech company Arpida, though the funds are committed independently of the proposed merger. Evolva continues discussions with other investors and intends to raise further funding in a second closing subject to approval of the merger by Arpida shareholders. The Series B funding will allow the combined company to progress its clinical compounds through phase II proof-of-concept trials over the next 2-3 years, in particular EV-077 (cardio-renal indications), EV-086 (anti-fungal) and EV-075 (antiviral).

Neil Goldsmith, Managing Director & CEO, said: "We are pleased that we have succeeded in attracting new high quality investors and that we have received further support from our existing ones. This clearly signals backing from our investor community for the intended merger with Arpida."

 

About the investors
Auriga Partners

Independent venture capital firm (EUR 330m under management) investing in Life Sciences and Information Technology companies. The mission is to transform start-ups with breakthrough technologies into market leaders in their fields thus ensuring an optimal return on investment to investors. For more information see www.aurigapartners.com

Vinci Capital

Vinci Capital is an independent Swiss private-equity firm whose mission is the financing and development of Swiss technology companies, based on the campus of EPFL, in Lausanne. It has an exclusive mandate to manage the funds of Renaissance PME and Mona Lisa Capital AG. Renaissance PME is a foundation dedicated to Swiss pension funds to provide them with a fiscally-optimized and regulated vehicle for direct private-equity investments in Swiss technological and industrial SMEs. Mona Lisa Capital AG is an investment holding funded by Swisscom dedicated to financing Swiss SMEs with high growth potential. For more information see www.vincicapital.ch and www.renaissance-pme.ch

Wellington Partners

One of the most successful pan-European venture capital firms with EUR 800 m under management. The firm invests in Life Sciences, Technology and Digital Media companies throughout Europe that have the potential to become global leaders. Since 1998, it has invested in more than 100 companies, including public companies like Actelion and XING and privately held ones like Alando (acquired by eBay) and Grandis (acquired by Novartis). For more information see www.wellington-partners.com

BioMedPartners

A leading Swiss healthcare-dedicated venture capital firm with more than CHF 240 million under management that provides private equity (BioMedInvest) and mezzanine financing (BioMedCredit) to early-stage private companies and spin-offs in the biotechnology, emerging pharmaceutical, medical technology and other healthcare-related industries with a geographic focus on investments in Switzerland, Germany and neighboring Western Europe. For more information see www.biomedvc.com

Aravis

Aravis is a Switzerland based venture capital organisation managing two funds focused on life science (Aravis Biotech I & II) and a third fund focused on renewable energy (Aravis Energy I). Since 1995 the Aravis management team has invested over USD 600 million in more than 80 companies. For more information see www.aravis.ch

Astellas Venture Management LLC (AVM)

The venture capital arm of Astellas Pharma Inc, a global pharmaceutical company, invests in emerging biotechnology companies. The venture capital activity of AVM can be traced back to Yamanouchi VentureCapital LLC founded in 2000 and Fujisawa Investments for Entrepreneurship LP established in 1999. AVM is currently managing four funds. For more information see www.astellasventure.com

Dansk Innovationsinvestering P/S (DII)

DII was established in 2000 with the purpose of investing in small, new and innovative companies. The primary target groups were healthcare and biotechnology companies. DII no longer invests in new projects. Since 1 January 2007, DII has been managed by LD Invest Equity, an independent department of LD Invest A/S. For more information see www.dan-inno.dk

Novartis Bioventures (Novartis Venture Funds)

The Novartis Venture Fund currently manage over USD 700 million in committed capital. Novartis Venture Funds invest in companies which have the potential to change a core therapeutic field or explore new business areas that will be critical to patient care. The primary interest is in the development of novel therapeutics and platforms as well as medical devices, diagnostics, and delivery systems. The Fund invests for financial objectives at all stages, but prefers to invest in the early-stages of company development. With eight investment professionals located in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MA the team has extensive experience in pharmaceutical R&D and venture capital. For more information see www.venturefund.novartis.com

Sunstone Capital

Sunstone Capital is a Scandinavian early stage venture capital investor founded by an international team with more than 200 years of combined entrepreneurial, operational and financial experience. Sunstone focuses on developing and expanding early-stage Life Science and Technology companies with strong potential to achieve global success in their markets. For more information see www.sunstonecapital.com


About Evolva

Evolva uses its genetic chemistry platform to replicate, on an industrial basis, the ability of nature to create small molecules with exquisite "design". Based on this technology, Evolva has a number of discovery and pre-clinical partnerships which in 2008 generated revenues of about CHF 12 million. Evolva also has an attractive pipeline of drug candidates deriving from this approach - one compound (for renal and cardiovascular diseases) entered Phase I beginning of 2009, and two others (an anti-fungal and an anti-viral) are expected to enter Phase I in 2010. For more information see www.evolva.com

Contact Details

Neil Goldsmith, CEO
Phone: +41 61 485 20 05
Fax: +41 61 485 20 01
[email protected]

Jakob D.Hansen, CFO
Phone: +41 61 485 20 34
Fax: +41 61 485 20 01
[email protected]

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This publication contains specific forward-looking statements, e.g., statements including terms like "believe", "assume", "expect" or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may result in a substantial divergence between the actual results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and those explicitly or implicitly presumed in these statements. Against the background of these uncertainties readers should not rely on forward-looking statements. The company assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements or to adapt them to future events or developments.

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