29.03.2012 - Promethera Biosciences has completed a Series B financing round, generating proceeds of €23.6m.
The Belgian cell therapy company secured a capital increase of €17m from its new investors, among them the venture arms of pharmaceutical industry leaders Boehringer Ingelheim and Shire, Japanese investment fund Mitsui Global Investment, US company ATMI and Belgian venture capital fund SambrInvest. In addition, the Walloon Region, which has backed the project since its inception, has granted a loan of €6.6m to support the clinical development of Promethera’s liver disease treatment HepaStem. The deal comes only a little over two years after the first financing round, which raised €5.3m. "Achieving all our objectives a year ahead of plan and the proof of concept obtained in humans have been key factors in our investors' decision”, said Eric Halioua, CEO of Promethera Biosciences. Heterologous Human Adult Liver Progenitor Cells (HHALPC) form the basis for the liver disease treatment HepaStem.
The proof of concept for the therapeutic use of the cells has been demonstrated in three different animal models. Between 2009 and 2011, injections of HHALPC were safely administered to three patients - a world first - at Cliniques Universitaires St Luc by Professor Sokal and his team. These various achievements have enabled Promethera Biosciences to obtain the first authorisations from the British (MHRA) and Belgian (AFMPS) regulatory authorities to begin the phase I/II clinical study of HepaStem. The patent protecting the HHALPC cell and all of its applications has been officially awarded in Europe. “We believe that Promethera HepaStem has, even though early in development, significant potential to treat metabolic liver diseases and we are looking forward to working with the company now and in the future,” commented Dr. Ilka Wicke, director at the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture fund.
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