Opsona Raises €33 million
Posted on: April 29, 2013
Opsona Therapeutics raised €33 million (US $ 43 million) in an oversubscribed Series C financing led by BB Biotech Ventures and Novartis Venture Fund. Other new investors included Sunstone Capital, Baxter Ventures, Amgen Ventures and EMBL Ventures. Participants included existing investors Fountain Healthcare Partners, Roche Venture Fund and Seroba Kernel Life Sciences. Opsona develops new treatments for inflammatory diseases.
Opsona Therapeutics Limited ('Opsona'), the innate immune drug development company, today announced that it has raised €33 million (US $ 43 million) in an oversubscribed Series C financing. The participants in this Series C financing include existing investors, Novartis Venture Fund, Fountain Healthcare Partners, Roche Venture Fund and Seroba Kernel Life Sciences. The new investors joining the consortium are BB Biotech Ventures, Sunstone Capital, Baxter Ventures, Amgen Ventures, and EMBL Ventures. BB Biotech Ventures and Novartis Venture Fund led the Series C financing round. BB Biotech Ventures, Sunstone Capital and Baxter Ventures will be joining the board of directors.
Opsona is developing new treatments for inflammatory diseases and will use the proceeds to conduct a two-part multi-centered, double blinded and placebo controlled clinical study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of its lead product OPN-305 in renal transplant patients at high risk of Delayed Graft Function (DGF). This is the first clinical indication for OPN-305, a fully human monoclonal IgG4 antibody targeting Toll-like-receptor-2 (TLR2). Opsona recently completed a successful Phase I clinical trial in healthy human volunteers and has also demonstrated activity in preclinical animal models and ex-vivo studies. This first-in-class inhibitor of TLR2 has the advantage of inhibiting multiple cytokines leading to the pathogenesis of the complex inflammatory response in various diseases (ischemia/reperfusion injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, nephritis and various cancers) and has therefore a potentially broad application potential.
Dr. Martin Welschof, CEO of Opsona, commented: "The innate immune system represents a new frontier in targeting inflammatory diseases, and the quality of venture and corporate investors in this funding round is a demonstration of Opsona's expertise and capabilities in this highly promising field. With their repeat investment, our existing investors have clearly indicated their long-term commitment to Opsona, while the new investment from BB Biotech Ventures, Sunstone Capital, Baxter Ventures, Amgen Ventures and EMBL Ventures is a further endorsement of Opsona's future potential."
Dr. Martin Muenchbach, Managing Director at BB Biotech Ventures, added: "We are delighted to be working with Opsona Therapeutics and the other investors. We are excited to further advance Opsona's lead product OPN-305 into a well-designed Phase II efficacy study to improve post-operative complications in renal transplantation, an indication with major unmet medical need and attractive commercial potential. This high-quality study with clinically meaningful endpoints will also be of relevance for a subsequent Phase III registration study."
About Opsona Therapeutics
Opsona is a leading immunology drug development company, focused on novel therapeutic approaches to key targets of the innate immune system associated with a wide range of major human diseases, including autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, transplant rejection, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and atherosclerosis. The company was founded in 2004 by three world-renowned immunologists at Trinity College in Dublin. Opsona's lead product, a fully human monoclonal IgG4 antibody (OPN-305) targeting Toll-like-receptor-2 (TLR2) has demonstrated activity in a number of animal models and was recently tested in a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers. The company has initiated a two-part multi-centered, double blinded and placebo controlled clinical study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of OPN 305 in renal transplant patients at high risk of Delayed Graft Function (DGF) as the first clinical target indication for the development of OPN-305. The company was awarded a EUR 5.9 million non-dilutive grant by the European Union for clinical development of its anti-TLR2 antibody in solid organ transplantation including renal transplantation and the program has recently obtained EMA and FDA orphan drug status. Additional indications are currently being explored.
Further information is available at http://www.opsona.com/.
About Novartis Venture Fund
The Novartis Venture Funds manages over $850 million in committed capital. NVF invests in companies which have the potential to change a core therapeutic field or explore new business areas that will be critical to patient care. Our primary interest is in the development of novel therapeutics and platforms as well as medical devices, diagnostics, and delivery systems. The Funds invest for financial objectives at all stages, but prefers to invest in the early-stages of company development. With ten investment professionals located in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MA the team has extensive experience in pharmaceutical R&D and venture capital.
About Fountain Healthcare Partners
Fountain Healthcare Partners ("Fountain") is a life science focused venture capital fund headquartered in Dublin, Ireland with a second office in New York, US. Fountain specialises in making investments in biotechnology, medical device, specialty pharma and diagnostic companies. www.fh-partners.com
About Roche Venture Fund
The Roche Venture Fund invests in innovative biotech and diagnostics companies to develop commercially successful life science companies. Based in Basel with an office in South San Francisco, RVF is the corporate venture fund of the healthcare company Roche. RVF invests globally with a portfolio of over 30 companies in 10 countries. For more information, please visit www.venturefund.roche.com.
About Seroba Kernel Life Sciences
Investing in Life Sciences. Investing in Life. Seroba Kernel is a European life sciences venture capital firm, focused on investing in breakthrough healthcare technologies that promise to improve lives and make a difference worldwide. Based in Ireland and the UK, our team combines in-depth scientific and medical knowledge with broad regulatory and commercial expertise. We source investment opportunities globally and work with some of the world's best entrepreneurs developing innovative medical devices, diagnostics and therapeutic drugs. We fund new healthcare opportunities through key value-adding stages, from inception through development and clinical evaluation, regulatory approvals, market launch, and partnering with leading medtech or pharma companies. www.seroba-kernel.com
About BB Biotech Ventures
BB BIOTECH VENTURES is a healthcare-dedicated venture capital fund, focused on companies that develop and market drugs and medical devices. The Guernsey based fund is advised by the Bellevue Group, a publicly listed investment bank headquartered in Kusnacht/Zurich, Switzerland. BB BIOTECH VENTURES has a dedicated team of investment advisors and an advisory board. In addition, it is supported by the Group's healthcare investment experts, and an extensive network of specialists and advisors. With BB Biotech, BB Medtech, and BB Biotech Ventures, the Bellevue Group is amongst the largest financial investors in the health care segment worldwide. Over the last two decades, the Group has raised and invested more than USD 500 mn in venture capital. For more information, visit www.bbbiotechventures.com.
About Sunstone Capital
Sunstone Capital is an independent venture capital investor founded in 2007 by an international team with combined entrepreneurial, operational and financial experience. Sunstone Capital focuses on developing and expanding early-stage Life Science and Technology companies with strong potential to achieve global success in their markets. Managing total funds of EUR 693 million, Sunstone Capital is one of the largest and most active European venture capital investors.
About Baxter Ventures
Baxter Ventures identifies companies with promising, novel technologies, products and/or therapies, and provides them with the capital and expertise needed to drive successful innovation. Baxter Ventures was created in 2011 by Baxter International Inc., which has an 80-year legacy of healthcare innovation and saving and sustaining lives worldwide.
About Amgen Ventures
Amgen Ventures is a corporate venture capital fund focused on providing resources to biotechnology companies with early and clinical stage programs to develop pioneering discoveries in human therapeutics. The focus of the fund primarily is in early and later stage development in areas of therapeutic interest to Amgen, but also includes novel modalities with the potential to address targets in emerging therapeutic areas of interest.
About EMBL Ventures
EMBL Ventures is an independent venture capital investor that manages two Funds with a total of €68 million capital on behalf of major European institutional and private investors. Currently it invests with its second Fund, the EMBL Technology Fund II. EMBL Ventures' close relationship with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and its technology transfer organization EMBL Enterprise Management Technology Transfer GmbH (EMBLEM) allows it to finance disruptive technologies in an entrepreneurial start-up environment, aiming ultimately for a transaction with a partner that is seeking to acquire external product innovation. EMBL Ventures is exclusively focused on life-science investments. EMBL Technology Fund II is supported by the European Communities Growth and Employment Initiative, MAP ETF Start-up Facility.