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Covagen Adds New Investor To Financing Round And Advances Novel Protein Scaffold Technology In Inflammation And Oncology
10/5/2009 1:42:57 PM
Zurich, Switzerland, October 5, 2009
Covagen, an ETH Zurich spin-off company pioneering the development of a novel class of
protein therapeutics (Fynomers), announced today the closing of a financing round with its
existing shareholder Novartis Venture Fund and MP Healthcare Venture Management, Inc.
(MPH) joining as a new investor. This closing allows Covagen to further develop its Fynomer
technology platform and to generate key proof of principle data for its lead drug candidate, an
IL-17 inhibitor for the treatment of multiple inflammatory diseases.
“We are looking forward to having MPH as investor, and are very pleased that Covagen is
backed by two experienced venture capital firms”, said Julian Bertschinger, Chief Executive
Officer of Covagen.
MPH is a corporate venture capital firm based in Boston (US) and is a jointly owned subsidiary
of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC) and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings
Corporation (MCHC). “After an extensive review of many opportunities in the next generation
biotherapeutics sector, it was clear that Covagen’s Fynomer technology shows great promise
as a new scaffold, and its management team is able to move their programs forward very
effectively”, stated Jeffrey Moore, Vice President of MPH.
“Covagen has made great progress developing their protein scaffold technology platform, and
the financing will enable the company to pursue Fynomers against additional targets”, says
Anja König from the Novartis Venture Fund. “We are very excited to welcome MPH to the
Covagen develops next generation protein drugs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases
and cancer by using its proprietary protein engineering technology, which has been developed
at ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Covagen's innovative platform comprises the recently developed
Covalent DNA Display technology and a novel single domain protein scaffold, which - in
analogy to antibodies - can be engineered to yield high affinity binding proteins called
Fynomers that can be used for therapeutic applications. In addition, the modular structure of
Covagen's Fynomers and its favorable biophysical properties potentially allow for treatment
modalities that are difficult or impossible to be exploited with antibodies. For more
information, please visit www.covagen.com.
MP Healthcare Venture Management, Inc. (MPH) is a life sciences venture capital firm,
investing in innovative companies developing novel therapeutics, platform technologies,
vaccines and diagnostics. MPH invests in seed to late stage private companies, and investment
is not limited by geographic region. MPH is a jointly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe
Pharma Corporation (MTPC) and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC). For more
information, please visit http://www.mp-healthcare.com.
About Novartis Venture Fund:
Novartis Venture Fund manages currently more than USD 750 mio, making it one of the
world’s largest corporate biotech venture funds. Novartis Venture Fund has investment teams
in Basel (Switzerland) and Boston (US), which oversee investments in over 50 companies.
Novartis Venture Fund primarily focuses its investment activity on novel therapeutics and
platforms, but is also active in the area of medical devices, diagnostics or delivery systems.
For more information, please visit http://www.venturefund.novartis.com.