Cerenis Therapeutics Completes 25 Million ($30.5 MILLION) Series A Financing To Progress HDL-Related Drugs For Cardiovascular Diseases
Toulouse, France & Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA -- (22nd August 2005) -- Cerenis Therapeutics SA (Cerenis), a pharmaceutical research and development company created in March 2005 by a group of highly experienced scientists and managers, announced today the closing of a 25 million ($30.5 million) equity financing round. The international syndicate was led by Sofinnova Partners (France) and co-led by HealthCap (Sweden), and included Alta Partners (United States), EDF Ventures (United States) and NIF Ventures (Japan).
Cerenis has been established with the objective of discovering, developing and commercializing breakthrough HDL-related drugs for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. HDL, known as the good cholesterol, facilitates the removal of excess cholesterol from the body, and is an important target area for new therapeutic agents.
The funding will be used to establish the company's internal and external R&D programs. Cerenis plans to build a world-class organization bringing together experts from around the world focusing on breakthrough approaches to HDL therapeutics. Its facilities will be located in Toulouse, France and Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
Denis Lucquin, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners (France) commented:
"Cerenis is the perfect example of the type of company we like to support. It has a strong and experienced international management team working to address unmet clinical needs with very innovative programs. In addition, by assembling an international investor syndicate from the very beginning, Cerenis has a strong foundation to support its future growth."
The company has an exceptionally strong board and management team. It has attracted Andrß Mueller to serve as Cerenis' Board Chairman. Over the last 2 decades, he has been involved in the management of a substantial number of start-up companies including Actelion and Biogen, where he managed their initial venture capital financing rounds as well as the IPOs for both organizations. The company's founder, CEO and President, Dr. Jean-Louis Dasseux, PhD, MBA, is a pioneer of the HDL field, with over 45 filed patents. He was previously Vice President of Chemistry and Technologies at Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. in Ann Arbor. The other members of Cerenis' founding team include William Brinkerhoff, Chief Operating Officer and Maritza Oxender, Vice President, Development and Operations, both former executives at major pharmaceutical companies.
Commenting on the financing, Dr. Dasseux, CEO said:
"We are very happy to have received such strong global financial support to start Cerenis. We look forward to bringing HDL-related therapies to the market as a treatment option for millions of people with cardiovascular disease."
For further information please visit the website at www.cerenis.com
About Sofinnova Partners
Founded in Paris in 1972, Sofinnova Partners is one of Europe's leading independent venture capital firms. With 900 million under management, Sofinnova Partners invests in start-ups and early-stage companies in information technology and life sciences. Its investment strategy consists of investing early in teams and projects with high potential, most often acting as lead or co-lead investor. Sofinnova Partners also benefits from a long-established relationship with its sister company in San Francisco, Sofinnova Ventures. Sofinnova Partners' teams consist of 10 professionals who bring valuable market insight and technical expertise to portfolio companies.
HealthCap is a family of venture capital funds managed by the Odlander Fredrikson Group. With fully invested Funds I, II and III, and committed capital exceeding SEK 3,000 million in Fund IV, HealthCap is the largest specialized provider of venture capital within life sciences in the Nordic countries and one of the largest independent actors in the sector in Europe. HealthCap invests globally in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies. Investments are made in early stage opportunities as well as in more mature companies. The management team has extensive experience in science, medicine, investment banking and venture capital and close contacts with the academic community as well as with the pharmaceutical industry.
About Alta Partners
Alta Partners (www.altapartners.com) was founded in 1996 by four of the senior partners of Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co. (BEDCO), a pioneering venture capital firm formed in 1979 that focused on early-stage investing in life sciences, information technology and communications. The firm is viewed as a preferred venture partner due to its dominant market position in life sciences and the quality of its team. Alta Partners currently manages seven funds aggregating approximately US$1.5 billion in committed capital. Since its founding in 1996, Alta has been one of the most active life science investors funding over 90 companies across the continuum from company formation to later-stage opportunities.
About NIF Ventures
NIF Ventures is the leading Japanese venture capital firm, investing primarily in information technology and healthcare start-ups on a global basis. Founded in 1982, NIF currently has approximately $1 billion in capital under management. The firm is headquartered in Tokyo and has investing offices in the United States, Taiwan, and China. With over two decades in international investing, the NIF investment team has established deep network of industry contacts, enabling the firm help its portfolio companies conduct business development activities across the border.
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