MUNICH, May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- U3 Pharma, a translational medicine-focused oncology company, today announced that it has raised euro 27 million (US$ 34 million) in a financing round led by Life Sciences Partners (LSP). Existing investors, including Alta Partners, Atlas Venture, E. de Rothschild Investment Partners, and Bio*One Capital, also participated in the over-subscribed round. The funding will accelerate the further development of the company's pipeline of antibody-based targeted cancer therapeutics, the lead programs of which are nearing the clinic. The pipeline is the result of key discoveries made by U3 Pharma's founder and pioneer in targeted cancer therapeutic development, Prof. Axel Ullrich, currently Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Munich.
U3 Pharma also announced that Dr. Karsten Henco has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer and will join Dr. Edward Stuart and Dr. Mike Rothe on the company's management board. Dr. Henco is a noted industry statesman and co-founder of several biotechnology companies in the USA and Europe. His former positions include Managing Director and CEO of Evotec AG, and co-founder and Managing Partner of Qiagen N.V.
Dr. Henco stated: "The volume of this financing round and the quality of the syndicate recognizes the value of U3 Pharma's targeted cancer therapeutics pipeline. The company's position in the industry is enabled by Prof. Axel Ullrich, whose research provides U3 Pharma with novel drug targets accompanied by a tremendous depth of biological knowledge and disease relevance. It is truly exciting to join the company as it propels its lead projects toward the clinic."
"U3 Pharma is developing a pipeline of targeted therapeutics that we believe will significantly contribute to the objective of transforming cancer from a life threatening to a chronic disease with improved quality of life for the patient," stated Prof. Axel Ullrich.
"U3 Pharma is ideally positioned to develop cancer drugs that will function as first-in-class therapeutics on their own or in combination with current treatments. We expect U3 Pharma's impact on various cancers to be substantial and therefore we are pleased to join U3 Pharma's prior investors in supporting this outstanding company," added Dr. Joachim (JR) Rothe, General Partner at Life Science Partners (LSP).
"Targeted cancer drugs represent a major advance that has fundamentally changed the landscape of disease treatment. From the company's inception, Alta Partners has supported the potential of U3 Pharma's scientific insight combined with its industry experience in order to deliver the next generation of cancer treatments," said Dr. Jean Deleage, Managing Partner, Alta Partners Inc.
About U3 Pharma
U3 Pharma AG is an emerging leader in targeted cancer drug development. The company has produced a pipeline of novel cancer antibodies based on discoveries made by its founder Prof. Axel Ullrich. U3 Pharma applies its translational medicine expertise -- pairing deep biological and disease-related knowledge, to drug discovery and development. The two lead antibodies, in co-development with Amgen, are nearing the clinic as potential therapies for breast, lung and colorectal cancers, among others. For additional information, please visit http://www.u3pharma.com.
Based in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, the LSP Group has successfully invested in the life sciences for almost two decades. Since inception, LSP's management has invested in over 40 life science companies, of which a large number have successfully completed their IPO or were sold. For example, LSP was a founding investor in Crucell (NL), DNAge (NL), Qiagen (G), Rhein Biotech (G) and Pharming (NL) and was until recently a major shareholder in companies like Kudos (UK) and DeVGen (B). LSP's current portfolio includes some of the future leaders of the European biotechnology industry, with companies like Jerini (G), BioXell (I), Oncomethylome (B), Octoplus (NL) and Zealand (DK). LSP currently has close to euro 450 million in capital under management and has established itself among the leading life science investors in Europe. For more information about the LSP Group, please visit our website at http://www.lspvc.com.
For more information:
U3 Pharma AG
Dr. Edward Stuart
Managing Director, CBO
+49 (0)171 493 8881
Gretchen L.P. Schweitzer
+49 (0)89 450 29741
U3 Pharma AG