BUNNIK, The Netherlands, October 31 /PRNewswire/ -- AM-Pharma B.V., a privately owned biopharmaceutical company, engaged in the pre-clinical and early clinical development of novel compounds to treat infectious and inflammatory diseases and their consequences, announces that a major B-financing round has been successfully completed. The company attracted two leading venture capital firms to invest a total of EUR 9 million of which Inventages Venture Capital Investments Inc. committed EUR 6 MIO and ABN-AMRO Life Sciences Capital EUR 3 million. AM-Pharma acquired an additional EUR 2 million via a Dutch government research grant through SenterNovem in April 2005. The company will employ the investment for advancing several of its development projects through clinical trials phase II.
Dr. Bruno Giannetti, President & Chief Executive of AM-Pharma: "We are extremely excited about this investment, which will allow us to take our three lead compounds into the next clinical phase on their way to become safe and efficacious treatments, targeting large markets with a high medical need. We are fully dedicated to further develop the respective programs towards successful completion, which will add significant value to the company. The research and development strength of AM-Pharma and its partners is dedicated to establish unique technology platforms to generate several follow-up proprietary compounds".
AM-Pharma lead projects: AM-Pharma's lead compounds have been acquired through the Dutch academic environment, where AM-Pharma is currently expanding its already extensive network. Internal research efforts are primarily devoted to the development and further evaluating of new product candidates. The company operates in the segments of opportunistic fungal and bacterial infections, sepsis and ulcerative colon disease, offering products that address genuine unmet medical needs. Two of the leading projects for AM-Pharma are based on an antimicrobial peptide from Human Lactoferrin and on Bovine Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase.
An antimicrobial peptide from Human Lactoferrin has shown excellent pre-clinical in vivo efficacy data and has proven safe in a Phase I clinical study. AM-Pharma initially develops this peptide for the prevention of infections in patients undergoing allogeneic bone marrow stem cell transplantation. High post-operative rates of severe infection and mortality allow for establishment of early clinical proof-of-principle and a possible fast track regulatory approval under an Orphan Drug Designation.
Bovine Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase is being developed for sepsis treatment and has successfully passed toxicology as well as Phase I clinical studies. The first Phase II clinical study on therapeutic safety and efficacy was initiated on August 2004. AM-Pharma has recently initiated a third line of development, using Alkaline Phosphatase in the treatment of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Phase I has successfully been completed and a Phase II trial in patients will commence before the end of 2005.
Dr. Robert Schier, Partner of Inventages Venture Capital: "AM-Pharma has built a strong pipeline of peptide- and protein-based products with novel mechanism of action utilizing its intensive network in the scientific community of the Netherlands. We believe that the company will be able to transform its current platform into safe and efficacious solutions for underserved and underdeveloped markets to prevent and treat major diseases."
Mr. Bart Bergstein, Executive Director and Head of ABN-AMRO Capital Life Sciences Team:
"At the end of this year, AM-Pharma will have three drugs in Phase 2 clinical trials, which underpins the maturity of the pipeline. The next two years will be very exciting, given the expected data flow from these trials. The orphan drug status provides quick access to registration, while the market potential of each of the drugs is substantial. This makes AM-Pharma an attractive late stage investment opportunity."
AM-Pharma is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company based in Bunnik, the Netherlands. The company's business is focused on the preclinical and early clinical development of novel compounds in the field of severe infectious diseases and their consequences, as well as inflammatory diseases. AM-Pharma currently employs 15 staff (13 FTE's) and an additional 10 people are indirectly working at different academic institutions on projects financed by AM-Pharma.
Inventages Venture Capital is a fund management company specialized in life sciences with business offices in the Bahamas, Switzerland and New Zealand that currently manages five funds with a total volume of approx. EUR 1 billion. The first fund was a classical pharmaceutical and red biotech fund. Funds two to five with a strong focus on prevention have been raised between 2002 and 2005 with strategic partners as cornerstone investors, e.g. Nestle SA. Inventages concentrates on selective investments in the field of disease prevention and chronic disease management. Portfolio companies are intensively supported and can leverage the deep business experiences and strong relationships of the Inventages' partners within the global pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and biotech industries.
ABN AMRO Capital Life Sciences is the venture arm of ABN AMRO Bank N.V. of the Netherlands. ABN AMRO Capital Life Sciences builds and finances life sciences companies that develop world-class technology with a clear focus on products for major markets. Of particular interest are businesses capable of improving the diagnosis and treatment of disease, as well as companies with technologies that accelerate drug discovery and development. Over the past 7 years, through investments in more than 30 companies in both Europe and the US, the ABN AMRO Capital Life Sciences team has achieved considerable success and above average returns.
This release contains forward-looking statements that are not based on historical facts. These forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.