Probiodrug convinces VC
Halle – Probiodrug AG has closed one of the largest VC rounds in the world so far this year. The specialist in neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases raised a36m from an international consortium made up of new investors BB Biotech and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners (EDRIP) as co-leads, backed up by LSP Life Science Partners and Biogen Idec New Ventures. All existing institutional shareholders – IBG Fonds, TVM Capital, HBM BioVentures, and CFH Group – followed on, along with private investors. Probiodrug’s big discovery is glutaminyl cyclase, an enzyme that is thought to play an important role in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. “We have found the snowball that triggers the avalanche,” said Hans-Ulrich Demuth, the company’s Chief Scientific Officer. Last year, Probiodrug published initial results in Nature Medicine. “Ever since, glutaminyl cyclase has been one of the hottest topics at scientific meetings and in the pharmaceutical industry,” EDRIP partner Olivier Litza told EuroBiotechNews. Probiodrug will use the funds to further pursue its glutaminyl cyclase programmes. In 2004, the company successfully outlicensed a programme of DP4-inhibitors for the treatment of diabetes to US-based OSI Pharmaceuticals for US$35m.