Healthcare Industry News:  GSK 

Biopharmaceuticals Venture Capital

 News Release - October 5, 2010

New Leaf Venture Partners Invests in $35.4 (£22.4) Million Series A Financing of Convergence Pharmaceuticals

Convergence, Launched Out of GlaxoSmithKline, to Focus on Novel, High-Value Analgesics

NEW YORK & MENLO PARK, Calif.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)-- New Leaf Venture Partners (NLV Partners) announced today that it is investing with Apposite Capital and SV Life Sciences in a $35.4 million Series A private equity financing of Convergence Pharmaceuticals. Convergence is focused on the development of novel analgesics with the potential for commercially attractive efficacy, responder-rate and tolerability profiles. Officially launched today and based in Cambridge, UK as an independent biotechnology company with clinical assets acquired from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Convergence will be led by Dr Clive Dix, together with a strong management team including former GSK scientific experts in the field of pain. Proceeds of the Series A financing will be used to accelerate the development of the company’s differentiated, clinical-stage programs, including a lead product candidate that is ready to begin Phase 2 clinical trials and a second program that is preparing to enter Phase 1.

In connection with the financing, Liam Ratcliffe, M.D., Ph.D., Venture Partner at NLV Partners, will join Convergence’s Board of Directors. “Convergence brings together many elements that we believe will contribute to success, including a broad product development pipeline, validated therapeutic targets concentrating on differentiated ion channel inhibition, and a senior team with substantial background in pain R&D. The approach addresses a range of chronic pain states with considerable unmet medical need and large markets,” commented Dr. Ratcliffe. “Further, we think there is specific value in being launched out of a large pharmaceutical company, as we have seen with other companies in the NLV portfolio. Convergence has access to nearly a decade of high quality research and development from GSK for its R&D platform, and members of the new Convergence senior team had previously spearheaded work on this technology.”

“We are pleased with the Series A round and the quality and experience of the syndicate,” said Dr Clive Dix, Chief Executive Officer of Convergence Pharmaceuticals. “The proceeds of the financing will allow us to advance our two lead programs through proof-of-concept clinical trials, and to continue to expand the development pipeline, and positions Convergence really well for its future.”

About Convergence Pharmaceuticals

Convergence Pharmaceuticals is an independent biotechnology company focused on the development of novel analgesics with potentially commercially attractive efficacy, responder-rate and side effect profiles. The Company was formed in October 2010 following the acquisition of certain neuroscience clinical assets from GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”). Convergence Pharmaceuticals has a pipeline of differentiated clinical-stage compounds targeting the points of convergence in chronic pain signaling through modulation of specific ion-channels. Convergence Pharmaceuticals is well funded and raised $35.4 million in Series A financing from a syndicate of leading European and US VCs.

The company’s management team is lead by Clive Dix, Chief Executive Officer (ex PowderMed, PowderJect, Glaxo Wellcome), together with Simon Tate, Chief Scientific Officer (ex GSK) and Brenda Reynolds, Chief Operating Officer (ex PowderMed, PowderJect, Pfizer). The team has extensive experience in leading successful biotech ventures and in drug development. For more information about Convergence Pharmaceuticals, please visit

About NLV Partners

New Leaf Venture Partners is a leader in healthcare technology venture investing. Our investment professionals bring a unique blend of technological, clinical, and operational experience to our investments. We work closely with our entrepreneurs to help build successful portfolio companies. We focus primarily on later stage biopharmaceutical products, early stage medical devices, and laboratory infrastructure technologies.

New Leaf currently manages $1.3 billion in assets. This includes our newest fund, New Leaf Ventures II, L.P., which closed with commitments of $450 million in October 2007, New Leaf Ventures I, L.P. and the healthcare technology portfolio of the Sprout Group, one of the oldest U.S. venture capital fund groups. For more information please visit

Source: NLV Partners

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