Paris, France, August 29 2013. Sofinnova Partners, an independent venture capital firm based in Paris, France led the Series A financing round that allowed ObsEva SA, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company specialized in women’s reproductive medicine, to raise CHF 32 million (EUR 25.6 million). Sofinnova Ventures and Novo A/S joined as co-investors.
ObsEva focuses primarily on therapies for the treatment of preterm labor. The firm was co-founded in November 2012 by Ernest Loumaye, MD, PhD, a serial entrepreneur Sofinnova Partners successfully backed a few years ago with PregLem SA., a women’s health venture that focused on the treatment of uterine fibroids. PregLem was acquired by Gedeon Richter for CHF 445 million (EUR 361 million) in 2010. ObsEva’s management team is spearheaded by its two co-founders, Ernest Loumaye, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, and André Chollet, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer.
Concurrently to the financing, ObsEva has signed a worldwide licensing agreement with Merck Serono to develop and commercialize certain of their compounds in the field of obstetrics. Merck Serono has also taken a minority equity stake in the company.
The Series A funding will enable ObsEva’s strong management team to accelerate the development of these compounds which have the potential to be best-in-class products. By combining a robust biological rationale with a differentiating drug profile, ObsEva is very well positioned to develop therapies for the prevention and treatment of preterm labor, an unmet medical condition that often has devastating consequences.
Rafaèle Tordjman, MD, PhD, and Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners said: « Over the years we have developed a strong relationship with Ernest Loumaye. After PregLem, Sofinnova Partners stepped up to provide ObsEva with initial seed funding. We are thrilled to continue to support such a high quality team and to facilitate the advancement of novel preterm labor therapies ». Ernest Loumaye, MD, PhD, and Chief Executive Officer, added: « ObsEva addresses a critical unmet need as available therapies for preterm labor condition are still limited in terms of efficacy or safety. The cost of preterm birth is estimated at around $27 billion every year in the US. The products we will be developing have the potential to dramatically improve the treatment options for millions of women ».
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is an independent venture capital firm based in Paris, France. For more than 40 years, the firm has backed nearly 500 companies at different stages of their development – pure creations, spin-offs, as well as turnaround situations – and worked alongside Europe’s key entrepreneurs in the Life Sciences industry. With €1.3 billion of funds under management, Sofinnova Partners has created market leaders with its experienced team and hands-on approach in building portfolio companies through to exit. sofinnova.social-unit.fr
About ObsEva SA
ObsEva is a Swiss-based, specialty biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative drugs for women’s reproductive medicine. ObsEva’s main focus is on therapies for preterm labor. ObsEva was founded in 2012 by Ernest Loumaye MD, PhD and André Chollet PhD. Ernest Loumaye is a clinician specialised in female reproductive medicine with 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He was previously Co-Founder and CEO of PregLem. André Chollet is a medicinal and pharmaceutical chemist with over 30 years of experience gained in diverse roles within the biopharmaceutical industry, including at Biogen, GSK and Merck Serono. www.obseva.com