Promethera Biosciences, a Belgian biotechnology company developing Promethera® HepaStem, a cell-based therapy for the treatment of in-born errors of metabolism and acquired liver diseases, today announces the completion of its Series C fundraising round. The company has raised €25.33 million ($31.4 million), including €20.33 million in capital.
The financing round is supported by existing Promethera Biosciences investors and two new investors: SFPI-FPIM, the Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company, and SMS Investments, a Luxemburg based subsidiary office of the German SMS group.
The success of the Series-C fundraising is the result of the completion of the HepaStem phase I/II study, following a Series B fundraising in March 2012 when €17 million in equity was raised. Promethera Biosciences has attracted two new investors in this new round, securing a third capital increase of €20.33 million. SFPI-FPIM, the Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company, and SMS Investments, a Luxemburg based subsidiary office of the German SMS group, have now acquired equity in Promethera Biosciences. They join the company’s historical international investors: Vesalius Biocapital and Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (the venture capital fund of the German pharmaceutical group) the lead investors; SRIW; Shire, a leading UK biopharmaceutical company; Mitsui Global Investment, the venture capital fund of Japanese industrial conglomerate Mitsui & Co Ltd. and Pall-ATMI LifeSciences; Vives-Louvain Technology Transfer Office Fund; as well as several business angels.
In addition, the Walloon region, which has backed the company since its inception, has granted loans and subsidies of €5 million to support the clinical development of HepaStem and the collaborative program with EMD-Millipore.
“We have made substantial progress and obtained significant achievements during the past three years, including the successful completion of our phase I/II clinical trial with Promethera® HepaStem in Urea Cycle Disorders and Crigler-Najjar disease. The study provided positive safety and preliminary efficacy data that enabled us to pursue the development of these indications. In addition, we have already obtained the first authorization for the HEP002 study, a phase IIb/III clinical trial in Urea Cycle Disorders,” said Eric Halioua, chief executive officer of Promethera Biosciences.
“We are hopeful that Promethera’s technology will shift the treatment paradigm for patients living with orphan liver diseases. We see a lot of interest from healthcare professionals who are eager to see this innovative therapy become a reality to support patients with high unmet medical needs,” said Professor Etienne Sokal, chief scientific officer and founder of Promethera Biosciences, pediatric hepatologist at Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc (Belgium).
“We welcome the continued strong support of the Walloon region and the new funding by the existing and new investors Belgian SFPI-FPIM holding and SMS Investments. We hope to raise additional funds in the coming months in order to maximize the potential of the product and develop HepaStem in large acquired adult liver indications,” said Alain Parthoens, partner at Vesalius Biocapital.
The major innovation of Promethera HepaStem, based on Heterologous Human Adult Liver Progenitor Cells (HHALPC), lies in its potential to treat a wide variety of congenital and acquired liver diseases.