Cerenis SA collects EUR 50m from French government and private investors
Cerenis Therapeutics SA raised EUR40m in a Series C financing round from the French Government and existing investors. The company, based in Toulouse, France, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, said the money will be used to fund Phase 2 trials of a drug that treats cardiovascular disease. In a type of public-private investment partnership, the French Strategic Investment Fund FSI gave EUR20m, with the same amount from investors including Sofinnova Partners and HealthCap, Cerenis said in a statement. Cerenis’s other investors include Alta Partners, TVM Capital, EDF Ventures, OrbiMed and Daiwa Corporate Investment, the company said. The strategic fund is owned by the French state and a government-owned bank, Caisse des Depots et Consignations. But the French government doesn't stop here. Along with Groupe Novasep, the company received an additional EUR10.7m in funding through Oseo, a state body that promotes French business abroad. Cerenis’ lead drug candidate, CER-001, mimics the effect of high-density lipoprotein or so called good cholesterol to break down the buildup of plaque in arteries. The drug is targeted toward patients with severe atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty material collects along the walls of arteries, then thickens and hardens, restricting blood flow. COO Bill Brinkerhoff described a drug that causes the regression of arterial plaque as “the holy grail” of cardiovascular disease therapeutics. “We welcome the FSI as a new investor and are very pleased to have such strong support from our current investors,” Jean- Louis Dasseux, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Cerenis, said. Cerenis has now raised EUR107m in venture funding since its 2005 inception.