• Patrice brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the Food and Crop Protection sector
• Luc Maertens appointed Chief Operations Officer
• Significantly strengthened AgroSavfe’s leadership team to further support accelerated growth of the Company
GHENT, Belgium, July 02, 2019 — AgroSavfe NV, a rapidly growing and transformative AgTech company developing next generation AGROBODY™-based biocontrols, today announces the appointment of Patrice Sellès as new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In addition, Luc Maertens has been appointed Chief Operations Officer (COO).
Patrice joins AgroSavfe from Syngenta, a leading agriculture company, where he spent more than 17 years in various international executive leadership and scientific positions, as Global Head R&D Strategic Portfolio and Performance, but also as venture investment manager. Patrice held his positions both in Europe and in the US.
Building on the proprietary AGROBODY Foundry™ Platform, Luc Maertens will head the full development of the rapidly expanding proprietary product pipeline as Chief Operations Officer. In this position, Luc will lead the coordination and execution of the Company’s programs from product design through to development and regulatory submissions as well as the commercial scale manufacturing.
Lieven De Smedt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented: “We are very pleased that Patrice is joining us as new CEO to bring AgroSavfe to the next level in the international markets. He thoroughly understands the Agro Industry dynamics thanks to his 20-year track record in various leadership roles, including portfolio and investment strategy development and execution, and business development. His expertise will be invaluable as we enter an important new phase and are starting to prepare the launch of our first product, expected in 2022.”
Patrice Sellès, CEO of AgroSavfe, said: “I am thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to lead AgroSafve at this important stage. Over the past few years, the team has de-risked a unique technology platform and developed a promising pipeline and I am excited to build on this success with our fantastic team in Ghent. I look forward to engaging with our stakeholders and supporting the company in becoming a strong and substantial business for the long term, addressing the many challenges currently facing worldwide agriculture and food production.”
The growing demand for healthy, safe and sustainable food has increasingly imposed restrictions on agricultural practices. Therefore, improving food production efficiency in a sustainable way, while safeguarding the environment and its natural resources, is essential.
AgroSavfe has the ambition to contribute to a sustainable production of safe and healthy food. The Company is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of effective and safe biocontrols to tackle plant pests and diseases using its ground-breaking, scalable, proprietary AGROBODY Foundry™ Platform.
AgroSavfe’s products are a novel class of biocontrols based on AGROBODY™ bioactive proteins that effectively and selectively target pests’ and pathogens’ essential molecules. AGROBODY™ bioactives combine the high-performance characteristics of chemicals with the clean safety profile of biologicals, making them ideal crop protection agents for both pre- and post-harvest applications.
Based on its unique AGROBODY™ platform, AgroSavfe has built a versatile product pipeline against key pests and diseases, with the first product expected to enter the US market in 2022.
The Company was founded in 2013 as a spin-off from the VIB (Flemish Institute for Biotechnology) and is based in the biotech cluster in Ghent, Belgium. More information can be found on www.agrosavfe.com.
For further information, please contact
Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
Marieke Vermeersch, M.V.LifeSci Consulting for AgroSavfe
T: +32 (0)9 261 06 84
SCHAUMBURG, IL – July 16, 2019 – Comet Bio, a manufacturer of healthy and sustainable ingredients, has closed a round of financing with its current investors. The equity funding allows the company to commercialize its flagship products, Arabinoxylan Plant Fiber Extract and SweeterraTM syrups, both of which are made from crop leaves and stalks left over after a farm’s harvest. Existing investors Sofinnova Partners and PM Equity Partner participated in the financing.
“Our products are in high demand because they address consumers’ interest in gut health and sugar reduction,” said Comet Bio CEO Rich Troyer. “We are pleased to have the ongoing support and confidence of our investors to successfully bring these products to market.”
Comet Bio will use the funds to deepen their partnerships to serve food and beverage customers, launch supplement and health food products, complete additional clinical trials to further establish the healthy features of the company’s products, and expand its supply chain to meet increasing customer demands. The company has also established their U.S. headquarters in Chicago, IL. Their offices, located at 1501 Perimeter Drive in Schaumburg, will house the company’s administrative and commercial functions. Comet Bio chose Chicago for its U.S. headquarters because of the significant number of food and nutrition companies located throughout the region.
“Consumers are demanding products that are healthy and good for the environment without compromising on taste. A big obstacle for food and beverage companies has been swapping ingredients without sacrificing taste and performance. Comet’s innovative ingredients finally provide food and beverage companies a no compromise solution to meet consumer needs.” said Joško Bobanović of Sofinnova Partners. “We have been impressed by Comet’s ability to identify new applications in high demand and look forward to supporting the Comet management team as they commercialize these exciting new products.”
“Comet Bio is now well positioned to introduce its healthy ingredients in an appealing range of applications,” said Marco Brunazzo of PM Equity Partner. “Comet’s products are ideal for supplements and nutritional products, as well as confectionary, fruit preparations and beverages.”
Comet Bio produces healthy ingredients from crop leftovers for use in supplements, foods and beverages. The company’s Arabinoxylan Plant Fiber Extract is a prebiotic dietary fiber that supports gut health, and a healthy metabolism, while it’s SweeterraTM syrups are functionally equivalent to traditional sweeteners, and are more sustainable, lower in calories and sugar, and higher in fiber. By upcycling crop leftovers, the company helps farmers utilize their whole harvest, which results in products that are better for the planet. According to an independent well-to-wheel Lifecycle Carbon Emissions Assessment (LCEA), Comet’s ingredients reduce greenhouse gases by over 60% compared to traditional sweeteners. In addition, independent tests confirm that Comet’s products perform the same as traditional ingredients in many product applications including confectionary, fruit preparations and baking.
About Comet Bio
Comet Bio is a manufacturer of award-winning healthy and sustainable ingredients based in London, Ontario and Schaumburg, Illinois. The company upcycles crop leftovers into healthy and sustainable ingredients for use in supplements, foods, and beverages. The company’s two flagship products are Sweeterra™ syrup blends and Arabinoxylan dietary fiber that are natural and healthy without compromising on taste or performance. Their ingredients are better for the planet because they reduce greenhouse gases and help farmers take advantage of their whole harvest. For more information, visit http://comet-bio.com/ and follow us on Twitter at @cometbio.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over Europe, the US and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners seeks to invest as a lead or cornerstone investor from very early stage opportunities to late stage/public companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2.0 billion under management. For more information, please visit: www.sofinnovapartners.com
About PM Equity Partner
PM Equity Partner invest in entrepreneurs and growth companies that share their vision of profitable sustainability and sustainable profitability. As a long-term investment partner their support includes scientific substantiation, business development and marketing excellence PM Equity Partner is the corporate venture capital and private equity investment arm of Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM).
Paris, France, 11 July 2019 at 07:30 pm – ABIVAX SA (the “Company” or “ABIVAX”) (Euronext Paris: FR0012333284 – ABVX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company harnessing the immune system to develop novel treatments for inflammatory diseases, viral diseases and cancer, announced today the successful completion of a capital increase of 1,500,000 new ordinary shares with a nominal value of €0.01 per share (the “Transaction”), which has been entirely subscribed at market price by Sofinnova Crossover I, a fund managed by Sofinnova Partners (“Sofinnova”).
“Sofinnova Partners is globally recognized as a leading specialist investor and their investment, combined with the continued support of our founding shareholder, Truffle Capital, not only validates our science and strategy but also extends our cash runway to the end of the second quarter of 2020,” said Prof. Hartmut J. Ehrlich, MD, CEO of Abivax. “Abivax now has sufficient time and resources to leverage maximum value in ongoing partnering discussions for ABX464, while also providing funding to achieve important value-creating milestones in three phase 2 trials of ABX464 in ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease and one phase 1/2 trial of ABX196 in liver cancer.”
“We are pleased to become investors in Abivax. We have followed Abivax’s continuing progress and determined that its assets and management have the potential to create significant value for patients, corporate partners and Abivax shareholders,” said Kinam Hong, MD, Partner at Sofinnova Partners.
“We are particularly motivated by the strong anti-inflammatory properties and proof of concept demonstrated to date by ABX464 and its broad potential to address multiple diseases where patients are not adequately treated by existing therapies.”
Philippe Pouletty, MD, Chairman of the Board of Abivax and CEO of Truffle Capital commented: “We are delighted to work with Sofinnova, which shares many of our values, to help further guide Abivax to clinical and corporate success.”
Net proceeds of €12 million provide the Company with additional funding to implement its strategy, conduct its operations and reinforce its financial structure. In particular, funding will be primarily allocated to finance the next steps in the clinical development of its lead product, ABX464, including a Phase 2b study in ulcerative colitis and Phase 2a studies in rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. Secondarily, the funds will also be used for next steps in the clinical development of ABX196 to treat hepatocellular cancer in the U.S.
In the framework of the Transaction, the Company agreed that Sofinnova, as a new major financial partner for Abivax, will present a candidate for appointment to the Company’s Board of Directors (Conseil d’Administration) in replacement of Dr. Claude Bertrand, who resigned from his office as director of the Company.
Key features of the Capital Increase
The New Shares were issued through a capital increase without shareholders’ pre-emptive rights reserved to a specified category of investors under the provisions of Article L. 225-138 of the French Commercial Code (Code de commerce) and pursuant to the 14th resolution of the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting held on 7 June 2019. The Company explored various equity funding options prior to entering into the Transaction with Sofinnova, which best matched the Company’s financing needs. The Company’s intentions with regards to potential future partnerships remain unchanged.
The number of ordinary shares subscribed (the « New Shares ») and the subscription price were decided by the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (Directeur Général), in accordance with a sub-delegation granted by the Company’s Board of Directors (Conseil d’Administration) on 9 July 2019.
Sofinnova subscribed to 1,500,000 New Shares with a par value of €0.01, at a price of €8.00 per New Share, including share premium, for a total subscribed amount of €12,000,000, representing approximately 12.7% of the share capital of the Company.
Payment and delivery of the New Shares is expected to occur on or about 15 July 2019.
The New Shares were issued with no discount to the closing price of the Company’s shares on the regulated market of Euronext Paris as at 9 July 2019.
As of the settlement and delivery date, which is expected to occur on 15 July 2019, the New Shares will be fungible with the Company’s existing shares and are entitled to current dividend rights. The New Shares will be listed on Euronext Paris under ISIN FR0012333284 on 15 July 2019.
The issuance of the New Shares will have the following impact on the allocation of the share capital and the voting rights of the Company:
The Company confirms that, in its view, following the issuance of the New Shares and taking into account (i) the €10 million raised by the Company as a result of the draw of the second tranche of the Kreos financing which took place on 31 May 2019, and (ii) other financial sources available to the Company such as the equity line with Kepler Cheuvreux, the Company will have the financial resources required to cover its net working capital needs over the next 12 months. The Company has no immediate intention to draw on the Kepler Cheuvreux equity line. Since the beginning of this agreement in September 2017, out of 970,000 shares available, Kepler Cheuvreux exercised 200,000 shares (2.0% of the current total shares of Abivax) until June 2019. The primary terms and conditions of the Kreos financing were set forth in the press release issued by the Company, dated 25 July 2018. The second tranche of the Kreos financing is composed of 8 million straight bonds with a nominal value of 1 euro each and 2 million of co vertible bonds with a nominal value of 1 euro each. The conversion price for the convertible bonds is €10.70 corresponding to the potential issuance of 186,916 new shares.
As part of the second tranche, ABIVAX has also issued warrants to Kreos Capital, giving it the right to subscribe up to €800,000 into new shares of ABIVAX at a nominal value of €0.01 and a subscription price identical to the conversion price of the convertible bonds for the second tranche.
The Kreos financing is an unsubordinated and first rank debt financing and is secured by pledges over ABIVAX’s tangible and intangible assets, including all the Company’s intellectual property rights over its drug candidates.
ABX464 was shown to target the cap binding complex (CBC), which is a novel mechanism of action for anti-inflammatory drugs. By binding to the CBC, ABX464 reinforces the biological functions of this complex in cellular RNA biogenesis including splicing. ABX464 enhances the selective splicing of a single long non-coding RNA to generate the anti-inflammatory miR-124, which acts by downregulating proinflammatory cyto- and chemokines like TNF-, Il-6 and MCP-1, thereby putting a brake on inflammation. A seven- to ten-fold increase of miR124 was observed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and in colorectal biopsies of UC patients treated with ABX464.
ABX464 in Ulcerative Colitis
Following the exciting results of the Phase 2a proof-of-concept study in ulcerative colitis, Abivax is launching a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging Phase 2b trial (link to ClinicalTrials.gov) in 232 UC patients that will have four arms: three escalating doses of once-daily oral ABX464 (25 mg/day, 50 mg/day and 100 mg/day) and placebo. The study will be conducted in up to 150 study sites in more than 17 countries under the leadership of its steering committee (Prof. Severine Vermeire, M.D., Ph.D., Prof. Herbert Tilg, M.D. Ph.D., Prof. Xavier Hebuterne, M.D., Ph.D., and Prof. William Sandborn, M.D.), and includes an eight week induction phase followed by an open-label maintenance study with ABX464. The primary endpoint is reduction in modified Mayo Score at 8 weeks, and secondary endpoints will include clinical remission, endoscopic improvement and biomarker fecal calprotectin. Full regulatory and ethics approvals have already been granted in several European countries and in Canada, ith first patient enrollment expected in late July/early August of this year and top-level results expected around the end of 2020.
ABX464 in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Abivax is also launching a phase 2a proof-of-concept study designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of two oral dose-levels of ABX464 administered daily, in combination with methotrexate (MTX), in patients with moderate to severe active Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) who had an inadequate response to MTX and/or to one or more anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) biologicals. This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study in sixty patients with moderate to severe active RA, who will be assigned to receive 50mg ABX464, 100mg ABX464 or placebo during the twelve-week treatment phase. The primary endpoint of the study will be safety and tolerability. Secondary endpoints will be indicators of efficacy including the change from baseline in the individual components of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), the proportion of patients achieving ACR20 response and change from baseline in Disease Activity Scores (DAS) in 28 joints. For further details, please lick here. The first patient is expected to be enrolled in late July/early August of 2019 and top-level results expected during summertime 2020.
ABX464 in Crohn’s Disease
Abivax is also preparing an international phase 2a clinical study of ABX464 in 30 patients with Crohn’s disease ( link to ClinicalTrials.gov). This study is scheduled to start enrolling patients around the end of this year.
ABX464 in other Inflammatory Diseases
The inflammatory disease space represents an area of high unmet medical need, and a corresponding substantial market opportunity. It is estimated that nearly 1 million patients with ulcerative colitis live in the US, 650,000 in Europe, and over 2.7 million patients globally, representing a potential market opportunity of up to $5.5 billion annually, based on 2017 pharmaceutical sales in this sector. For IBD (UC and Crohn’s disease), pharmaceutical sales during this same period are estimated to have reached $15 billion1. The market potential for the full range of inflammatory conditions (including neuroinflammatory diseases) is currently estimated to be in excess of $70 billion, a market and patient population that the Company believes could benefit from ABX464. Therefore, Abivax is currently conducting preclinical proof-of-concept studies in multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Psoriasis, NASH and pulmonary arterial hypertension.
ABX464 in HIV
The results of the ABX464-004 and ABX464-005 studies, showing that ABX464 reduced HIV-viral reservoirs in the blood as well as in rectal tissue, make it a promising therapeutic candidate for a phase 2b study. However, given the complexity of the US and European regulatory processes to develop an HIV cure, in view of the opportunities Abivax has in the inflammatory space, the company decided to conduct the next steps of development of ABX464 in HIV through investigator-initiated clinical studies with third party and/or public funding. The first such study is scheduled to be initiated by the end of 2019.
ABX196 in Liver Cancer
US FDA recently accepted an investigational new drug (IND) application for ABX196, which showed potent efficacy in HCC animal models. ABX196 is a synthetic glycolipid agonist of invariant Natural Killer T cells (iNKT) in a liposomal formulation. A phase 1 clinical trial conducted by Abivax in healthy volunteers has been completed and demonstrated safety and tolerability as well as potent activation of iNKT cells. Preclinical studies have demonstrated the potential of ABX196 for cancer therapy:
ABX196, both alone and in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor, showed a statistically highly significant therapeutic effect in reducing tumor growth as measured by MRI and increasing survival in mice with HCC. Abivax holds exclusive rights to ABX196 from Scripps Research, the University of Chicago, and Brigham Young University. The open IND allows Abivax to test ABX196 in combination with nivolumab (Opdivo®, Bristol Myers Squibb), a checkpoint inhibitor, in a first Phase 1/2 clinical trial to treat patients with HCC. The initial dose-escalation phase of the study will be conducted at the Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center in San Diego, CA, USA; additional leading cancer centers in the US will be involved in the subsequent expansion phase of the study. The first patient is expected to be enrolled in August of 2019 and top-level results of the first study phase (escalation phase) during summertime 2020.
Information disclosed to the public
The 2018 registration document (document de référence) of the Company, filed with the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (« AMF ») on April 29, 2019 is available free of charge on the Company’s website (www.abivax.com). Attention is drawn to the risk factors related to the Company and its activities presented in chapter 4 of its registration document.
An update of the Company’s corporate presentation, dated June 2019, with a presentation of the Company’s activities, including the progress of preclinical and clinical programs, is available on the Company’s website.
This press release does not constitute a prospectus within the meaning of the Prospectus Directive nor a public offering.
Dechert LLP acted as legal advisor to Abivax on this transaction.
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About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over Europe, the U.S. and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners invests across the Life Sciences value chain as a lead or cornerstone investor, from very early stage opportunities to late stage/public companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2 billion under management. For more information, please visit: www.sofinnovapartners.com.
This document and the information contained herein do not constitute either an offer to sell or purchase, or the solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase, securities of the Company.
This announcement does not, and shall not, in any circumstances, constitute a public offering nor an invitation to the public in connection with any offer. The distribution of this document may be restricted by law in certain jurisdictions. Persons into whose possession this document comes are required to inform themselves about and to observe any such restrictions.
This announcement is an advertisement and not a prospectus within the meaning of the Prospectus Directive (as defined below), as implemented in each member State of the European Economic Area.
The Transaction does not constitute a public offering in France as defined in Article L.411-1 of the French Monetary and financial code and Article 2(1)(d) of the Prospectus Directive. With respect to the Member States of the European Economic Area (including France) (“Member States”), no action has been undertaken or will be undertaken to make an offer to the public of the securities referred to herein requiring a publication of a prospectus in any Member State.
For the purposes of the provision above, the expression “offer to the public” in relation to any shares of the Company in any Member State means the communication in any form and by any means of sufficient information on the terms of the offer and any securities to be offered so as to enable an investor to decide to purchase any securities, as the same may be varied in that Member State. The expression “Prospectus Directive” means Directive 2003/71/EC, as amended, and includes any relevant implementing measure in the Member State.
This document does not constitute an offer of securities for sale nor the solicitation of an offer to purchase securities in the United States or in any other jurisdiction where such offer may be restricted. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States or to U.S. persons (as defined below), absent registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the « Securities Act »), except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to the registration requirements thereof. The securities of the Company have not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act, and the Company does not intend to make a public offer of its securities in the United States.
PARIS — July 9, 2019 — AblaCare, a medical device company dedicated to transforming women’s health and fertility care, announced today that it has raised €10 million in Series A financing from Sofinnova Partners. The company also announced the appointment of seasoned medical device executive Jodie Fam as CEO.
AblaCare’s treatment, a minimally invasive procedure called “ovarian rebalancing,” uses ablation to restore ovulation in women with infertility related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This new technology transforms an older, invasive surgical method, called “ovarian drilling,” into a minimally invasive and much simpler office-based procedure. Ablation of ovarian tissue eliminates excess androgen-producing tissue in the ovary. Following this one-time treatment, spontaneous ovulation occurs in up to 75% of women within six months, with up to 55% of women achieving pregnancy in the same timeframe,1 with a natural conception experience.
As CEO, Fam brings more than 20 years of medical device experience leading early stage medical device product development, market access and commercialization for major medtech companies and several venture-backed startups. She has held top management roles at Concentric Medical (acquired by Stryker), Medina Medical (acquired by Medtronic) and CardioKinetix, as well as senior sales and marketing positions with Johnson & Johnson, Guidant Corporation and Mallinckrodt Medical.
“We’re pleased to become investors in AblaCare’s Series A financing. We believe the company has the right technology to address one of the primary causes of infertility,” said Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners. “In addition, we are thrilled to have Jodie leading the AblaCare team. She has been instrumental in bringing a number of early-stage, paradigm-shifting medical technologies to market in diverse and competitive environments.” Up to 15% of women are diagnosed with PCOS, half of which face infertility.2 The condition is caused by the overproduction of male hormones, which prevents the development and release of mature eggs. Current treatment options are complex, costly and emotionally trying.
“AblaCare addresses the number-one cause of ovulation-related infertility, allowing women with PCOS to ovulate as they naturally would—without using fertility medications and hormones,” said Fam. “We are proud that a premier life sciences investor recognizes the enormous opportunity AblaCare represents to transform innovations for women’s health.” Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the company’s clinical and regulatory programs in Europe and the United States. Concurrent with the financing, Andrew Weiss, President and CEO at ReCor Medical, has been named chairman of the board of directors for AblaCare.
AblaCare is a medical device company offering a minimally invasive ablation technology designed to restore ovulation in women with infertility related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). AblaCare’s “ovarian rebalancing” procedure is designed to help the body to ovulate as it naturally would through a one-time intervention performed in the medical clinic. It is currently being evaluated in the ULTRA clinical trial (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03760926). AblaCare was created, seeded and incubated by MD Start II and participated in the selective MedTech Innovator Accelerator program. The company is headquartered in Paris. For more information, visit www.AblaCare.com
[Boulder, CO] July 9, 2019 – DMC (www.dmcbio.com), an early-stage biotechnology company, announced today that is has raised a Series A equity financing led by Sofinnova Partners. The company also announced the addition to its Board of Directors of Josko Bobanovic, Partner and Manager of the Sofinnova Industrial Biotech Fund. Current investors Capricorn Venture Partners and Breakthrough Energy Ventures also participated in the fundraise. This funding builds on the company’s successful non-dilutive awards to date which exceed $1.8M from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, and the US Department of Agriculture.
DMC makes bio-based products using enhanced microbial fermentation. The development of microbes and associated bioprocesses has historically been complicated, slow, and costly. DMC is deploying its technology to reduce biological complexity and enhance the speed of development, creating a low cost, fermentation-based manufacturing platform that has the capability to produce a broad diversity of products. The company’s platform enables low cost distributed manufacturing of existing products and new-to-the world products that are only accessible using the precision of biology.
Josko Bobanovic, Partner at Sofinnova Partners and the manager of the Sofinnova Industrial Biotechnology Fund, said: “We have been impressed by a unique technology, an exceptional founding team, and significant potential for rapid commercial growth. This funding round brings together like-minded investors who share the team’s vision of creating a capital efficient, multi-product, biochemicals company.”
“We are excited that Sofinnova appreciates the potential of our proven technology and shares our vision of the commercial path for the company. We look forward to working with them as we bring our specialty amino acids product family into the marketplace and as we continue to build our robust product pipeline,” said Matt Lipscomb, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of DMC.
Rob van der Meij, Senior Investment Manager at Capricorn Venture Partners (the manager of the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund), and Board member of DMC, added: “We are continuing to invest in DMC because their approach and technology are differentiated in the sector and they have demonstrated strong progress the past 1.5 years. We look forward to working with Sofinnova and the DMC team to support the company’s commercial efforts across multiple global markets.”
Carmichael Roberts, of Breakthrough Energy Ventures stated “DMC’s synthetic biology platform has the potential to transform traditional product and chemical development by dramatically reducing time-to-market and costs. The technical implications of DMC’s science in the fuels and food sectors drew us to the company and we are excited to be part of their journey.”
With this funding, DMC plans to recruit additional top talent in senior management, metabolic engineering, and fermentation for locations in Boulder, CO and Durham NC as it advances its first products to commercial scale.
DMC is unleashing the manufacturing power of biology. The company is democratizing metabolic engineering and bioprocess development to accelerate commercial deployment of sustainable bio-based products across multiple markets. The company’s lead product family will provide ingredients for the
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animal and human nutrition markets. In addition, pipeline product families in development by DMC will address unmet customer needs in sectors that include specialty chemicals, flavors and fragrances, and personal care.
For more information, visit: www.dmcbio.com
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over Europe, the U.S. and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners invests across the Life Sciences value chain as a lead or cornerstone investor, from very early stage opportunities to late stage/public companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2 billion under management.
For more information, please visit: www.sofinnovapartners.com
Capricorn Venture Partners, an independent Leuven (Belgium) based manager of venture capital and equity funds, invests in innovative companies with technology as a competitive advantage. It operates under an AIFM license granted by the FSMA (the Financial Services and Markets Authority in Belgium). The investment in DMC is made from the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund.
For more information, please visit: http://www.capricorn.be/
About Breakthrough Energy Ventures
Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) invests in companies that leverage innovative technologies to help address climate change. Backed by many of the world’s top business leaders, BEV has more than $1 billion in committed capital to support bold entrepreneurs building companies that can significantly reduce emissions from agriculture, buildings, electricity, manufacturing, and transportation. The fund was created in 2016 by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.
Visit www.b-t.energy.com to learn more.
Comet Therapeutics Raises $28.5 Million Series A Financing to Support Development of Treatments Built Around Its Novel CoEnzyme A Platform
Funding led by Canaan and Sofinnova Partners
To Advance Unique Approach to Immuno-metabolism
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 19, 2019 – Comet Therapeutics, a company built around the unique ability to re-engineer Coenzyme A (CoA)-related metabolism, has raised $28.5 million in Series A funding to develop a broad portfolio of drug candidates. Previously, the company received seed funding from top tier investors, including original investors Sofinnova Partners and INKEF Capital. Canaan and existing investor Sofinnova Partners co-led the round, with participation by existing investor INKEF Capital and new investor BioInnovation Capital.
Comet’s platform has numerous potential applications including metabolic disorders, neuro-metabolic diseases, immuno-metabolic conditions and other life-threatening diseases.
“While the role of Coenzyme A in metabolic disease has been understood for many years, we are the first company to systematically exploit it to treat numerous conditions with high unmet medical need,” said David de Graaf, Ph.D., president and CEO of Comet Therapeutics. “Coenzyme A and its metabolites are literally at the heart of basic cellular functions like energy production and cellular regulation. With this funding, we will quickly build out our team and advance the development of the CoMET™ Platform.”
Previously, Dr. De Graaf was President and CEO of Syntimmune, a development-stage company that Alexion Pharmaceuticals purchased in 2018. Comet’s executives also include Chief Scientific Officer Art Taveras, Ph.D., who has led or contributed to more than 40 small-molecule drug discovery and development programs, and served as vice president of small molecule drug discovery at Biogen. Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Enej Kuscer, Ph.D., has worked in CoA metabolism for more than 10 years and has previously co-founded European biotech start-ups including Acies Bio and Whey2Value.
“Comet’s platform has tremendous versatility and unique therapeutic potential,” said Peter Van Vlasselaer, Ph.D., Chairman and Independent Director of Comet Therapeutics. “The company is operating in a virtual white space, yet has built a broad patent portfolio around its core technology. We see exciting opportunities in the areas of immuno-metabolism and neuro-metabolism.”
Dr. Van Vlasselaer has started and overseen development and successful exits of many innovative life science companies on the West Coast, including immuno-oncology leader Armo BioSciences, acquired by Eli Lilly and Co. last year for $1.6 billion; TrueNorth, acquired by Bioverativ; iPierian, acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb; Arresto Biosciences, acquired by Gilead; and Avidia, acquired by Amgen.
Concurrent with the financing, Comet’s Board of Directors is expanding to include Roel Bulthuis of INKEF Capital; Colleen Cuffaro, Ph.D., of Canaan Partners and Anthony Walsh, Ph.D., of BioInnovation Capital who are joining existing board members Henrijette Richter, Ph.D., of Sofinnova Partners, Paris; Drs. Ben Machielse, independent director; and Peter Van Vlasselaer, Ph.D and Dr. de Graaf, president and CEO of Comet.
The CoMET™ Platform
CoEnzyme A (CoA) is essential in numerous cellular processes including the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids and sugars; the regulation of gene expression; mitochondrial health and the proper functioning of the TCA cycle, which provides the energy cells need to live.
CoA dysfunctions play a role in many rare, genetic disorders of metabolism. Dysregulated CoA metabolism is also a key factor in conditions with neuro-metabolic and immuno-metabolic origins.
The CoMET™ Platform enables precise targeting of specific CoA species to diseased tissues and organelles within cells where these species are depleted, thereby restoring normal cellular metabolism and regulation that underlie basic human health.
About Comet Therapeutics
Comet Therapeutics is the leader in CoEnzyme A (CoA) science and intermediate metabolism. Our proprietary CoMET™ Platform is the foundation of a growing pipeline of next-generation therapeutics to treat conditions in which dysregulated CoA plays a role. Utilizing this science and forging innovative partnerships, Comet aspires to develop and commercialize treatments for patients suffering from metabolic, neurological and immunological disorders. Learn more at https://comettherapeutics.com/.
Oversubscribed round to bring first products powered by enzymatic DNA synthesis technology to market
Paris, May 16, 2019. Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm specialized in the life sciences, today announced that its portfolio company DNA Script, an industry leader in the manufacturing of synthetic nucleic acids using proprietary enzymatic technology, has raised $38.5 million in Series B financing. New shareholders LSP and BPIFrance joined the round, alongside existing shareholders Kurma Partners, Idinvest Partners, Illumina Ventures, and M Ventures (the corporate venture arm of Merck KGaA). Sofinnova Partners was the first institutional investor in DNA Script in 2016.
DNA Script is the world’s leading company in manufacturing synthetic nucleic acids using enzymatic technology. Founded in 2014 in Paris, the company aims to accelerate innovation in life sciences and technology delivering rapid, affordable, and high-quality DNA. Sixty years after the discovery of DNA, DNA Script’s revolutionary approach leverages billions of years of nature’s evolution in synthesizing DNA to enable genome scale synthesis.
The company offers a novel biochemical process for DNA and RNA synthesis, a fundamental tool used in biology research. At a recent academic conference, DNA Script presented its ability to synthesize 200nt of DNA with remarkable accuracy. This innovation may be used in numerous applications, including electronic data storage, by leveraging unprecedented capabilities of the molecule to store information. The fundraising allows DNA Script to further develop its unique enzymatic technology and nucleotide chemistry platform, and deliver the promise of same-day results.
Joško Bobanović, Partner at Sofinnova Partners, said: “We are excited that DNA Script, which we have backed from its first round of financing, was able to raise such a significant round. The company continues to deliver on its plan, and is now funded by a group of likeminded investors who support the team’s vision of creating a business that enables new applications for synthetic DNA and RNA in areas including drug discovery and development, agriculture, and industrial and food technologies.”
“Sofinnova Partners has been an excellent partner from a very early stage, just after the inception of our company,” said Thomas Ybert, CEO of DNA Script. “Since then, they have helped us on a daily basis to build DNA Script from the ground up. The team brings a strong expertise in the technology as well as one of the broadest global networks in the industry. Importantly, they also provide unconditional support and coaching to our entrepreneurs – whatever the challenge at hand,” he said.
This new funding reaffirms Sofinnova Partners’ investment strategy in the industrial biotech field, initiated in 2009. As a pioneer in this emerging and rapidly growing sector, Sofinnova Partners has a portfolio of 14 industrial biotech companies, backed through two dedicated funds: Sofinnova Green Seed Fund, which raised €22.5M in 2012, and Sofinnova IB I, which raised €125M in 2017.
About DNA Script
Founded in 2014 in Paris, DNA Script is the world’s leading company in manufacturing de novo synthetic nucleic acids using an enzymatic technology. The company aims to accelerate innovation in life sciences and technology through rapid, affordable and high-quality DNA synthesis. DNA Script’s approach leverages billions of years of natural evolution to enable genome-scale synthesis. The company’s technology has the potential to greatly accelerate the development of new therapeutics, enhanced diagnostics, sustainable chemical production, improved crops and DNA data storage.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Headquartered in Paris, France, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over Europe, the U.S. and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners seeks to invest as a lead or cornerstone investor in seed, start-ups, corporate spin-offs and late stage companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2 billion under management.
For more information: http://sofinnovapartners.com/.
Press contact for Sofinnova Partners
+ 33 6 03 35 92 05
– Financing led by Sofinnova Investments to advance CIN-107 through clinical proof-of-concept in two indications
CINCINNATI, OHIO, May 14, 2019 – CinCor Pharma, Inc. (“CinCor”) announced today that it has signed an agreement with Roche to acquire exclusive global rights to a novel aldosterone synthase inhibitor (ASI) compound, CIN-107. CIN-107 will be developed for treatment resistant hypertension and primary aldosteronism. Financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed. In conjunction with the execution of the license agreement, CinCor completed a $50 million Series A financing led by Sofinnova Investments. Sofinnova Partners and 5AM Ventures also participated in the financing. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance CIN-107 through proof-of-concept Phase 2 clinical trials in these two indications.
CinCor will be responsible for all development, manufacturing and commercialization of the compound. In a Phase 1, single ascending dose clinical study, CIN-107 was well tolerated, demonstrated specificity for aldosterone inhibition, and showed significant, dose-dependent aldosterone lowering. CinCor will continue the development of CIN-107 with a multiple ascending dose Phase 1 clinical study, and following dose selection, will commence two Phase 2 clinical trials in patients with resistant hypertension and primary aldosteronism.
“This promising compound has great potential in addressing the substantial unmet medical need in patients who cannot achieve required blood pressure goals despite taking multiple anti-hypertensive medications,” said Jon Isaacsohn, M.D., FACC, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of CinCor. “Hypertensive patients who have not achieved goal blood pressures have significantly higher risks of heart attack and stroke. CIN-107 represents a new therapeutic option for these patients, as well as for patients who are at risk of aldosterone mediated end organ damage.”
Jim Healy, M.D., Ph.D., Managing Partner at Sofinnova Investments, has joined the CinCor Board of Directors. He states, “in my opinion, there has been a lack of innovation in the treatment of hypertension. Moreover, for many patients, the current standard of care does not adequately control their blood pressure. The mechanism of action in the compound that CinCor has acquired builds on what we believe to be significant data demonstrating the value of lowering aldosterone levels in patients with hypertension, and particularly in patients with primary aldosteronism”. In conjunction
with the financing, Maina Bhaman from Sofinnova Partners and David Allison, Ph.D., from 5AM Ventures have also joined the Board of Directors.
CinCor is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a mission to advance promising clinical candidates toward marketing approval. CinCor’s focus is on cardiovascular, metabolic and kidney diseases. CinCor Pharma, Inc. was founded by Jon Isaacsohn, M.D., and Catherine Pearce, DHSc, MBA, in 2018.
CIN-107 works through the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), which is a responsible for regulating the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance. CIN-107 is a highly selective aldosterone synthase inhibitor being developed for large unmet medical needs, including resistant hypertension and primary aldosteronism. Hypertension guidelines were changed in 2017 by the Joint National Committee (JNC) based on overwhelming data demonstrating that reducing blood pressures to less than 130/80 mmHg reduced the risk of cardiac events, particularly heart attacks and stroke. With this target blood pressure, approximately 17% of the hypertensive population do not achieve goal levels despite the use of combinations of blood pressure lowering medications, and are considered treatment resistant. Data have shown the risk of MI, stroke, and death in adults with resistant hypertension to be 2- to 6-fold higher than in hypertensive adults who achieve goal levels.
About Sofinnova Investments
Sofinnova Investments specializes in clinical and late preclinical investments in biopharmaceutical products. Their goal is to actively partner with entrepreneurs across all stages of company development. The firm seeks to build world class companies that aspire to dramatically improve the current state of medical care and the lives of patients through bringing innovative products to market. For more information, visit www.sofinnova.com.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over Europe, the US and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners seeks to invest as a lead or cornerstone investor in seed, start-ups, corporate spin-offs and late stage companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2.0 billion under management.
About 5AM Ventures
Founded in 2002, 5AM actively invests in next-generation biotech companies. With approximately $1.5 billion raised since inception, 5AM has invested in 76 companies including Arvinas, Audentes Therapeutics, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, DVS Sciences (acquired by Fluidigm), Envoy Therapeutics (acquired by Takeda), Flexion Therapeutics, Homology Medicines, Ikaria (acquired by Mallinckrodt), Ilypsa (acquired by Amgen), Marcadia Biotech (acquired by Roche), Novira Therapeutics (acquired by J&J), Pearl Therapeutics (acquired by AstraZeneca) and Relypsa (acquired by Vifor Pharma). For more information, please visit www.5amventures.com. Contacts: Investors: John Grimaldi, 212-213-0006, ext. 362 firstname.lastname@example.org
Top European VC leads 28-7’s Series A extension with $15 million and brings financing to over $80 million
Paris, France – May 9th, 2019 – Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm specialized in the life sciences, today announced that the firm led Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics, Inc’s [28-7] Series A extension with a $15 million investment. In addition to Sofinnova Partners, Osage University Partners (OUP) participated in the Series A extension bringing the total Series A financing to $82.75 million. Sofinnova Partners and OUP join the initial 28-7 investors that include MPM Capital, Novartis Venture Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Vertex Ventures HC, Longwood Fund and Astellas Venture Management.
“Sofinnova Partners views 28-7 as the clear leader in capitalizing on the emerging science around RNA biology and how its dysregulation contributes to many serious diseases such as cancer,” said Henrijette Richter, Ph.D., Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners. “We were captivated by the Company with its strong team of serial entrepreneurs possessing an incredible track record of successes, an exceptional group of academic founders, and the impressive scientific data and drug discovery progress around their lead RNA-focused program. They are developing game-changing therapeutics to treat cancers with high unmet need. We are therefore thrilled to be joining 28-7 early in the Company’s progress and to be investing in their exciting pipeline.” Dr. Richter will join the Company’s Board of Directors.
Since the close of the initial $65M Series A announced in September 2018, 28-7 has moved into its new facilities in Watertown, MA. Kazumi Shiosaki, Ph.D., CEO of 28-7, noted that the additional investment by Sofinnova Partners allows the Company to accelerate its current programs, build out its technology platform and expand into additional opportunities. “Sofinnova Partners is known for being a company-builder, with a strong focus on teams and science. With Sofinnova’s participation, we are able to work on proteins that regulate additional classes of RNA, including mRNA, as well as to leverage the programs into indications outside of oncology,” said Dr. Shiosaki.
28-7’s technology does not directly target small-molecules to the RNA itself but rather targets RNA-modulating proteins (RMPs). The lead program focuses on regulating levels of let-7, an important micro RNA (miRNA) that suppresses the translation of major oncogenes, whose levels can be disrupted by a protein called LIN28. In certain cancers, LIN28 is re-expressed and its binding of the let-7 precursor prevents the production of mature let-7 needed to maintain oncogene suppression. The Company’s lead program is developing small molecules that prevent the binding of let-7 precursor to LIN28 and restore the beneficial levels of mature let-7.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over Europe, the U.S. and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners seeks to invest as a lead or cornerstone investor in seed, start-ups, corporate spinoffs and late stage companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €1.9 billion under management. For more information: http://sofinnovapartners.com/.
About Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics
Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on the modulation of RNA to treat cancer and other human diseases. Targeting RNA modulating proteins (RMPs), the company can use small molecules to control the expression levels of oncogenes and other proteins of significance. The company’s core technology comes from its four founding scientists, all leading researchers in RNA biology and cancer. www.twentyeight-seven.com