SwitzerlandSwitzerland

Swiss allergy specialist Anergis bags CHF18 million Series A financing

29.03.2011

Lausanne – Swiss allergy vaccine specialist Anergis SA announced today that it has received CHF18 million financing from European biotech funds and private local investors. The company said it will use the capital to boost development of its lead product AllerT, a peptide-based vaccine representing the whole birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 on different peptide snippets while not cross-reacting with human IgE antibodies. The company said that AllerT and AllerB, another vaccine (directed vs the bee venom allergen PLA2) based on Anergis’ proprietary “Contiguous Overlapping Peptides (COPs)”, have demonstrated an excellent safety profile (no immediate allergic reaction) and immunogenicity (production of specific antibodies and cytokines against the original allergen) in animals. Current approaches to desensitize allergy patients with ascending doses of the original antigen are linked to potentially severe (potentially analphylactic) immune reactions and an uncertain outcome. Allergan’s platform, is designed to provide fast and safe desensitization to allergens. The financing round was co-led by Vinci Capital-Renaissance PME (Lausanne, Switzerland), BioMedInvest (managed by BioMedPartners AG, Basel, Switzerland) and Sunstone Capital (Copenhagen, Denmark). The syndicate was also joined by Esperante (Limhamn, Sweden), Initiative Capital Romandie (Lausanne, Switzerland) and by private investors. Up to now, Anergis has put CHF3 million into the development of its allergy vaccines. The new investors also bring substantial pharmaceutical experience and know-how to Anergis: Patrick Scherrer (representing Vinci Capital-Renaissance PME), Markus Hosang (representing BioMedInvest) and Sten Verland (representing Sunstone Capital) have joined the Anergis Board of Directors. The Board will be chaired by André J. Mueller, a professional with unique executive and non-executive experience in biotech ventures, which he gained with Biogen and Actelion and as the Chairman of the Boards of Cerenis Therapeutics (Toulouse) and Addex Pharmaceuticals (Geneva). “The proceeds of this financing will cover our financial requirements for the next two years and will allow us to take essential steps for the development of Anergis. In particular, we will now conduct a large Phase II multicenter trial with AllerT, our lead product for patients allergic to birch pollen, and we will speed up the preclinical development of our product portfolio in our new research laboratories,” said Vincent Charlon, PhD, CEO of Anergis. The company has other interesting vaccines in research stage, namely in peanut allergy

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The hepatitis C space has seen a string of large deals in the last weeks that include a US$11bn buyout of Pharmasset by Gilead. Now Novartis is also trying to get in the game with the purchase of a global exclusive licence from...

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Allschwil – Swiss Actelion Ltd. has strengthened its commercial offerings by securing rights in certain countries to Auxilium’s biotech drug Xiaflex for treating tissue buildup under the skin. The US pharma is to receive US$10m...

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Zug – Life Sciences specialist HBM partners has raised €90m in the first close of its HBM BioCapital II fund, which will invest in revenue-generating companies in the pharmaceuticals, medical device and diagnostics sectors....

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Stans – Mondobiotech, a drug discovery company in troubled waters, could soon be under Italian ownership: The Swiss biotech announced it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Milan-based provider of pharmaceutical and...

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