Naarden, The Netherlands, 28 February 2013 – Dezima Pharma (‘Dezima’), the biotechnology company developing innovative drugs in the field of dyslipidemia, announced today that is has raised a total of €14.2m ($18.6m ) for the clinical development of its cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor, DEZ-001(previously TA-8995) and to develop additional earlier-stage dyslipidemia assets.
Dezima has raised €9.8m in a Series A funding round, led by Forbion Capital Partners (NL) and BioGeneration Ventures (NL), with participation from New Science Ventures (USA). The Company has also been awarded a €4.4m loan (“Innovation Credit”) by Agentschap NL, an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Marco Boorsma of Forbion Capital Partners, Somu Subramaniam of New Science Ventures, and Wil Hazenberg of BioGeneration Ventures will join the Board of Directors of Dezima Pharma.
Sander van Deventer, Dezima’s interim CEO and General Partner of Forbion Capital Partners said: “We are extremely pleased with the financing of Dezima Pharma and the significant loan facility from the Dutch government that together will enable Dezima to fund the further clinical development of its CETP inhibitor DEZ-001 and the establishment of a dyslipidemia pipeline. We believe that the combined lowering of LDL cholesterol and the unprecedented reduction of LP(a) make DEZ-001 the best in class CETP inhibitor.”
Marco Boorsma of Forbion Capital Partners commented: “Our investment in Dezima Pharma underlies our commitment to advance innovative therapies, such as Dezima’s first product the CETP inhibitor DEZ-001, potentially providing a solution for the unmet need of millions of dyslipidemic patients worldwide that are at risk of cardiovascular disease.” Somu Subramanian of New Science Ventures added: “We are very excited to join Forbion and BioGeneration Ventures in moving this promising program forward.”
Dezima Pharma was founded in 2012 by Prof. John Kastelein, Professor of Medicine at the Department of Vascular Medicine at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and seed-financed by Forbion Capital Partners and BioGeneration Ventures, to develop novel products to treat dyslipidemic patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.
About Dezima Pharma B.V.
Dezima Pharma was founded in 2012 by Prof. John Kastelein, Professor of Medicine at the Department of Vascular Medicine at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and seed-financed by Forbion Capital Partners and BioGeneration Ventures, to develop novel products to treat dyslipidemic patients suffering from cardiovascular disease (CVD). The company’s lead product DEZ-001 (previously TA-8995) has been in-licenced from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and is a potentially best-in-class CETP inhibitor.
About dyslipidemia and CETP inhibitors
Dyslipidemia is a generally asymptomatic disease in which serum lipid levels deviate from the normal level. It is considered to be a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease due to the direct relation with atherosclerosis. The market for dyslipidemic drugs, including statins, fish oils and fibrates, topped $25Bn in 2010. Though current treatment is relatively effective a high unmet need remains: about 60% of treated patients have a considerable chance of experiencing a cardiovascular event, which comes with significant morbidity and mortality.
The Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) facilitates the transfer of cholesterol from HDL to other lipoproteins including LDL, in exchange for triglycerides. The CETP mediated transfer of cholesterol into LDL particles results into maturation of those LDL particles to more atherogenic LDL particles, which contribute to macrophage foam cell, and eventually plaque formation. Large Mendelian Randomization studies, epidemiological as well as preclinical studies have provided evidence for the notion that CETP activity is inversely related to cardiovascular mortality and reduced activity of CETP by pharmaceutical means or by naturally occurring mutations in the CETP gene results in increased HDL and decreased LDL levels. This provides a rationale for inhibition of CETP activity as a therapeutic intervention in dyslipidemic conditions characterized by either low HDL or high LDL cholesterol.
About Forbion Capital Partners
Forbion Capital Partners is a dedicated Life Sciences venture capital firm with offices in Naarden, The Netherlands, and Munich, Germany. Forbion invests in life sciences companies in drug discovery & development as well as medical device companies addressing substantial unmet medical needs. Forbion’s investment team of nine investment professionals has built an impressive performance track record since the late nineties with successful investments in Rhein Biotech, Crucell, Neutec, Glycart, Borean, Impella, Alantos, Acorda, Fovea, PanGenetics, Argenta Discovery and most recently Biovex and Pathway Medical. Current assets under management exceed $550m, split between four active funds and comprising some 29 promising portfolio companies. Forbion Capital Partners Fund II is supported by the European Investment Fund through its ERP and LfA facilities. Forbion co-manages Biogeneration Ventures, an early stage fund focused on (academic) spin-outs and seed investments in the Netherlands. For more information, please visit www.forbion.com.
About New Science Ventures
New Science Ventures (NSV) is a New York-based venture capital firm which invests in both early and late stage companies using novel scientific approaches to address significant unmet needs and create order of magnitude improvements in performance. NSV manages over $125 million and has invested in more than 20 companies located in the US, Europe, India and China in the life sciences and information technology sectors.
About BioGeneration Ventures
BioGeneration Ventures manages funds that are actively investing venture capital in the next generation of successful life sciences companies in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Its team has a successful track record and a broad experience in the life sciences sector. BioGeneration Ventures was co-founded by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI), the Holding of the University of Leiden, and ABN- AMRO. (www.biogenerationventures.com)
About Agentschap NL
Agentschap NL is an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Its stimulation programs and different subsidy schemes target high technology, energy and climate, the environment, international businesses and collaboration. The innovation credit line (“innovatiekrediet”) is aimed at supporting innovative and commercially attractive development projects in The Netherlands.
For more information, please contact:
Sander van Deventer
+31 35 699 3000
For media enquiries on behalf of Dezima Pharma:
College Hill Life Sciences
Melanie Toyne-Sewell / Anastasios Koutsos / Cora Kaiser
+44 20 7457 2020
+49 89 57001806