Healthcare Industry News:  metabolic disease 

Biopharmaceuticals Venture Capital

 News Release - November 13, 2006

Cerenis Therapeutics Closes EUR 42.1 Million Financing

Series B Financing Positions Company to Advance Development of Novel HDL Therapeutic Approaches to Cardiovascular Disease Treatment

TOULOUSE, France & ANN ARBOR, Mich.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Cerenis Therapeutics SA (Cerenis), a privately-held pharmaceutical research and development company, announced today the closing of a EUR 42.1 million ($53.5 million) equity financing round, representing one of the largest private equity deals in biotechnology this year. The Series B funding will support Cerenis's clinical development programs in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

The financing was led by TVM Capital, a transatlantic venture capital firm based in Munich and Boston and one of the largest technology and life sciences investors in Europe, joined by OrbiMed of the US and including significant additional funding from previous investors Sofinnova Partners of France, HealthCap of Sweden, Alta Partners and EDF Ventures of the US and NIF SMBC Ventures of Japan.

"We are especially pleased that TVM Capital, a leading life sciences investment firm, has recognized the potential for our research and clinical development programs in HDL therapy," said Jean-Louis Dasseux, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Cerenis Therapeutics. "This funding positions Cerenis to move forward with our pipeline of product candidates in HDL that represent breakthrough advances in cardiovascular disease treatment."

"Cerenis has an exceptionally strong and experienced management team with an impressive record of success in pharmaceutical research and development, providing the company with a solid foundation to support future growth," said Dr. Alexandra Goll, general partner, TVM Capital. "In addition, the company's novel technologies and development stage products represent important commercial opportunities and a major unmet need in cardiovascular disease treatment."

The financing will be used to advance research and clinical development of the company's product candidates, including its lead compound, Cerenis HDL, a synthetic form of HDL (high-density lipoprotein, also known as the "good cholesterol) that mimics natural HDL in humans. HDL facilitates the removal of excess cholesterol from the body, and is an important target area for new therapeutic agents. In addition, through a licensing agreement with Nippon Chemiphar, Co., Ltd., Cerenis is developing new-generation PPAR delta (peroxisome proliferator activated receptor) compounds that significantly raise HDL. Researchers have shown that PPAR delta agonists play a role in elevating levels of HDL and have the potential to help reduce cholesterol buildup through a natural process known as reverse lipid transport.

"We believe that Cerenis is well positioned to develop breakthrough approaches in HDL therapy for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The collaboration between the company's founders and venture capital partners from the very beginning stages of the company's development has proven to be enormously successful, and this collaboration will continue to ensure the company's future growth," said Denis Lucquin, managing partner, Sofinnova Partners.

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About TVM Capital

TVM Capital (formerly Techno Venture Management), headquartered in Munich and Boston, was founded in 1983 as one of the first venture capital firms in Germany. Since its inception TVM has raised over $1.6 billion in six fund generations and has established itself as a leading technology investment group in the United States and Europe. TVM funds have made investments in more than 235 life sciences and information technology companies where innovation, effective management and sound financial backing have enormous impact on company growth. TVM Capital is actively invested in more than 70 companies. For additional information, visit

About Sofinnova Partners

Founded in Paris in 1972, Sofinnova Partners is one of Europe's leading independent venture capital firms. With EUR 900 million under management, Sofinnova Partners invests in start-ups and early-stage companies in information technology and life sciences. Its investment strategy consists of investing early in teams and projects with high potential, most often acting as lead or co-lead investor. Sofinnova Partners also benefits from a long-established relationship with its sister company in San Francisco, Sofinnova Ventures. Sofinnova Partners' teams consist of 13 professionals who bring valuable market insight and technical expertise to portfolio companies.

About HealthCap

HealthCap is a family of venture capital funds managed by the Odlander Fredrikson Group. With fully invested Funds I, II and III, and committed capital exceeding SEK 3,000 million in Fund IV, HealthCap is the largest specialized provider of venture capital within life sciences in the Nordic countries and one of the largest independent actors in the sector in Europe. HealthCap invests globally in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies. Investments are made in early stage opportunities as well as in more mature companies. The management team has extensive experience in science, medicine, investment banking and venture capital and close contacts with the academic community as well as with the pharmaceutical industry.

About Alta Partners

Alta Partners is a San Francisco-based venture capital firm focused on life sciences investing. Founded in 1996, the firm currently manages $2 billion in committed capital through eight venture fund programs. Alta invests in life sciences companies across the development continuum, from company formation to later-stage opportunities, and has funded more than 110 companies in the sector to date.

About EDF Ventures

EDF Ventures® is a national venture capital firm with $170 million of private equity investments under management. Since forming its first fund in 1995, EDF Ventures has played a leadership role in providing venture capital to emerging technology companies with investments in more than 30 companies to date. Many of EDF's investments have been in companies which EDF co-founded by identifying technologies in leading universities and research institutions and incorporating companies to commercialize them. EDF Ventures' portfolio of investments includes a concentration of early stage market-focused companies whose technologies address the needs of the health care and technology markets.

About NIF SMBC Ventures

On October 1, 2005, NIF Ventures (Daiwa Securities Group) and SMBC Capital (Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group) merged to form NIF SMBC Ventures. NIF SMBC Ventures, the newly-created venture capital company, formed by integrating these two precursors, will not only secure a comprehensive business network, but also establish an outstanding service structure that integrates expertise in the entire business processes of finding investment targets, listing their stocks, and ultimately carrying out mergers and acquisitions. NIF SMBC Ventures has taken the first step for further growth as a private equity house and will continue to contribute to society by creating new industries through the finding and development of promising unlisted companies.

About OrbiMed

Founded in 1989, OrbiMed is the world's largest fully dedicated healthcare asset management firm, with approximately $6 billion in assets under management. Since inception of its private equity investment activities, Orbimed has successfully made investments in over 70 companies across a wide range of therapeutic categories and stages of development. OrbiMed's investment team includes over 20 experienced professionals with backgrounds in science, medicine, finance and law. Our professionals work together using a collaborative, team oriented approach which has earned OrbiMed a reputation as the capital provider of choice for life sciences companies of all stages.

Source: Cerenis Therapeutics

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