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Acacia Pharma Raises $23.5 Million to Advance Clinical Development of Lead Products for Supportive Care


9/3/2013 7:43:21 AM

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Acacia Pharma Raises £15 Million ($23.5 Million) to Advance Clinical Development of Lead Products for Supportive Care

CAMBRIDGE, England, September 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Acacia Pharma, a pharmaceutical company specialising in the development of drugs for supportive care, announces it has raised £15 million (~$23.5 million) in a Series B financing led by Fidelity Biosciences and Novo A/S. Current investors Gilde Healthcare and Lundbeckfond Ventures also participated in the round. Dr Alex Pasteur of Fidelity Biosciences and Dr Martin Edwards of Novo A/S have joined the Board of Acacia Pharma as Non-executive Directors.

Acacia Pharma will use the proceeds to:

complete Phase III development of APD421 for the prevention of post-operative nausea & vomiting (PONV);

complete Phase II development of APD403 for the prevention of chemotherapy induced nausea & vomiting (CINV); and

develop the commercial presentation of APD515 for the treatment of xerostomia (dry mouth) in advanced cancer patients.

"I am delighted to welcome Fidelity and Novo to the Company and would like to thank Gilde and Lundbeckfond for their continued support," commented Dr Julian Gilbert, Acacia Pharma's CEO. "The Company is about to initiate a number of key studies with results being available in 2014. The data generated to date in PONV, CINV and xerostomia have been excellent; therefore we look forward to continued success."

Dr Alex Pasteur of Fidelity Biosciences added, "Significant numbers of post-surgical patients do not receive adequate nausea and vomiting prophylaxis. APD421, Acacia Pharma's lead product, a D2/D3 antagonist, showed excellent efficacy in its Phase II trial, and had a very good safety profile. We believe that a drug with this novel mechanism and displaying these characteristics can provide a major contribution to the care of post-surgical patients."

Dr Martin Edwards of Novo A/S stated, "In addition to APD421, Acacia Pharma has generated excellent Phase II a proof-of-concept data on APD403 in CINV. The drug, the same D2/D3 antagonist used in APD421, appears to have a unique anti-nauseant profile and can be added to current recommended CINV regimens due to its novel, complementary, mechanism of action, thereby targeting the key unmet need within this debilitating condition. We have high hopes for APD403 and for the future success of the Company."

About Acacia Pharma

Acacia Pharma (http://www.acaciapharma.com) is a pharmaceutical company focused on supportive care, a significant commercial opportunity. Growth in the cancer supportive care market has been driven by the increasing incidence of cancer, the expansion of effective cancer therapies and the desire to improve both the effectiveness of treatment and the quality of life of cancer patients.

Acacia Pharma has generated a pipeline of product opportunities addressing a range of supportive care indications such as nausea & vomiting, xerostomia and cachexia using a commercially driven approach to product discovery based on known drugs. This strategy leads to product opportunities with a higher probability of success and enables rapid clinical proof-of concept. In addition, Acacia Pharma's products are expected to reach the market quickly given that they are based on the novel use of well-characterised pharmaceuticals.

Acacia Pharma is led by an experienced management team who have already successfully built and exited life sciences companies. Management, Gilde Healthcare Lundbeckfond Ventures, Fidelity Biosciences and Novo Ventures are the Company's key shareholders. Acacia Pharma is based in Cambridge, UK.

About Fidelity Biosciences

Fidelity Biosciences (http://www.fidelitybiosciences.com) invests venture capital in biopharmaceutical, medical technology, healthcare information technology and healthcare service companies. The firm is a subsidiary of FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments, one of the world's leading providers of financial services. For more than 40 years, Fidelity has been a significant presence in the venture capital and private equity industry. For more information, visit the website above.

About Novo A/S

Novo (http://www.novo.dk).is the holding company of the Novo Group, and is wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It was established in 1999 to manage the assets of the foundation and actively make investments on its behalf. Novo Ventures focuses on life sciences venture capital, and is active in both Europe and North America. The firm has four partners in Copenhagen, one in London and four in San Francisco. With an evergreen structure, it annually invests approximately $150 million in venture capital into private and public life sciences companies.

About Lundbeckfond Ventures

Lundbeckfond Ventures (http://www.lundbeckfondventures.dk) is an evergreen life science venture fund investing in companies in Europe and in the US. It is financially driven and invests primarily in drug development, as well as in medtech. Lundbeckfond Ventures is part of the asset management subsidiary of the Lundbeck Foundation which in addition to substantial financial assets has controlling ownerships in H. Lundbeck A/S, ALK-Abelló A/S and Falk A/S.

About Gilde Healthcare

Gilde Healthcare (Utrecht, The Netherlands and Cambridge, USA) is a transatlantic growth capital investor focused on private healthcare companies. It has over €450 million ($600 million) under management and is actively looking to lead new investments in therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices and healthcare services.

For a list of Gilde's portfolio companies please visit the website at http://www.gildehealthcare.com.

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