SymBio garners $24M VC round for cancer drugs, in-licensing

Cephalon has joined hands with JAFCO, a Japanese private equity group, to inject $24 million into SymBio Pharmaceuticals, a Japanese biotech company studying its lead drug for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma. SymBio says it will use some of the Series E money to in-license drugs for the Asian market.

"I am extremely pleased that our two major shareholders continue to support our business at this juncture where SymBio needs capital to more aggressively expand into other Asia Pacific markets," said Fuminori Yoshida, president and CEO. "In 2011, SymBio is being transformed into a biopharmaceutical company with top-line revenue, multiple drug candidates in all stages of development, and growing licensing opportunities. We will use proceeds from this round to maximize the value for patients as well as shareholders."

SymBio has four drug candidates in its pipeline. The company's lead drug candidate--SyB L-0501 (bendamustine HCl)--is an antineoplastic agent which received Japan market approval last fall for the treatment of refractory/relapsed low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma. The approval of bendamustine HCl for these indications was achieved within four years following enrollment of the first patient in its phase 1 study. Investigators are now studying the therapy for other cancer indications.

- here's the SymBio release

ALSO: The Vienna-based Arsanis, which was founded with the support of Tillman Gerngross, the CEO of Adimab, has raised $10 million. OrbiMed Advisors, Polaris Venture Partners and SV Life Sciences all chippd in equal amounts in the Series A round. Arsanis release