Probiodrug gains $54M to back Alzheimer's program

The early-stage German biotech Probiodrug AG won an impressive $54 million in fresh venture capital backing in one of the largest biotech rounds reported this year. The second round was led by BB Biotech and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners with LSP Life Science Partners and Biogen Idec New Ventures jumping on board for the first time. All the existing investors--IBG Fonds, TVM Capital, HBM BioVentures, CFH Group as well as private investors--all joined in.

Probiodrug is waging millions that inhibiting glutaminyl cyclase, an enzyme found in the brain, can interfere with the development of Alzheimer's, one of the toughest drug targets in biotechnology. "The role of QC in Alzheimer's disease and other inflammatory diseases was discovered and comprehensively IP-protected by Probiodrug," said Elhan Kosar from BB Biotech. "We believe that Probiodrug's pioneering scientific approach targeting QC in Alzheimer's disease has potential to bring a breakthrough treatment to this therapeutic area of great unmet need."

The German developer is also pursuing new programs for inflammatory diseases. Founded in '97 by Hans-Ulrich Demuth and Konrad Glund, the developer sold its metabolic drug assets to OSI in 2004. Three years later the developer acquired Ingenium Pharmaceuticals AG.

- here's Probiodrug release on the round