Italian pharma company purchases Breath Therapeutics for up to €500 million, with €140 million up front
PARIS, France, July 25, 2019 – Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm specialized in the life sciences, today announced that Zambon is acquiring its portfolio company Breath Therapeutics, which specializes in advanced and first-in-class inhalation therapies for severe respiratory diseases. Zambon, an Italian pharmaceutical firm, will pay up to €500 million in this acquisition. Independent strategic healthcare advisor Leopoldo Zambeletti advised Breath Therapeutics on this sale. Sofinnova Partners exits Breath Therapeutics after a holding period of two and a half years.
Breath Therapeutics was founded by Dr. Jens Stegemann, Dr. Oliver Denk, Dr. Gerhard Boerner and Anne Burger, who serve respectively as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Sofinnova Partners co-led Breath Therapeutics’ €43.5 million Series A financing with Gimv. Gilde also participated in the investment. Sofinnova Partners helped appoint Dr. Noreen Henig as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Henig previously served as Chief Medical Officer for ProQR Therapeutics, another Sofinnova Partners portfolio company. Breath Therapeutics’ team will continue to play a key operational role post acquisition.
Breath Therapeutics’ drug device platform consists of a proprietary liposomal cyclosporine A for inhaled drug delivery with eFlowⓇ nebulizer technology from PARI Pharma. The lead product candidate, L-CsA-i, has currently started two global phase 3 clinical studies for treatment of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) post-lung transplantation, a fatal respiratory orphan disease with no therapies approved.
Graziano Seghezzi, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners and Breath Therapeutics’ Board Member, said: “Breath Therapeutics is a perfect symbol of our investment strategy: cutting-edge platform and products developed by brilliant entrepreneurs for a debilitating disease with no effective treatment. We had a clear vision in mind for a transatlantic operation with strong bases in Europe and in the U.S. to maximize the commercial opportunity. We’ve achieved that vision and assembled a stellar management team by complementing the founders’ European skills with deep U.S. clinical, regulatory and commercial expertise.”
Breath Therapeutics´ Chief Executive Officer Dr. Stegemann said, “Sofinnova Partners played an instrumental role in getting our company through its first years and early expansion. We’re thrilled with how successful we have moved forward the developed of our lead drug L-CsA-i and how quickly the company has grown, and now looking forward to moving into a new dimension via the Zambon acquisition.”
Zambon is a Milan-based pharmaceutical group initially founded in 1906. It specializes in finding treatments for serious diseases lacking cures, such as respiratory illnesses, Parkinson’s Disease and cystic fibrosis.
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.
About Breath Therapeutics
Founded in 2016, Breath Therapeutics is a private, venture-backed clinical stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in advanced inhaled therapeutics for severe respiratory diseases with high unmet medical need. The company’s proprietary drug formulations have been specifically designed for inhaled administration with exclusively licensed, high performance nebulizer technology. L-CsA-i, Breath Therapeutics’ lead asset, is advancing as the first therapy for BOS, a rare and devastating lung disease with no currently available treatment. Breath Therapeutics has offices in Munich, Germany and Menlo Park, CA. For more information, please visit https://breath-therapeutics.com/
Zambon is a multinational pharmaceutical and fine-chemical company that focuses on innovation and development with the aim to improve the quality of people’s health and patients’ lives. Based on a valuable heritage but strongly focused on the future, its goal is to improve people’s health through the development of innovative and quality medicines. Zambon products are commercialized in 86 countries. The company has 20 subsidiaries in three different Continents – Europe, America and Asia – and owns manufacturing units in Italy, Switzerland, France, China and Brazil. The company today has a strong focus on the treatment of rare diseases and specialties, such as Parkinson’s disease and Cystic Fibrosis, and it’s well-established in 3 therapeutic areas: respiratory, pain and women’s care. Zambon was established in 1906 in Italy and today counts around 2,700 employees all over the world. For details on Zambon, please visit www.zambon.com
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