Munich and Leipzig, Germany February 23rd, 2005 Curacyte AG (Munich, Germany), a late stage drug discovery and development company has announced its merger with IBFB PHARMA GmbH (Leipzig, Germany). IBFB PHARMA is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in discovery and development of therapeutics to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases. Curacyte AG will remain a financial holding with three wholly owned operating subsidiaries in Leipzig, Jena (Germany) and Chapel Hill, NC (USA) employing approximately 50 staff. The combined company's headquarters will relocate from Munich to Leipzig.
In addition, Curacyte announced the successful completion of a €16.5 ($21.6) million Series C private placement. This financing round will support the development of the company's combined product portfolio. The syndicate includes new investors CFH Corporate Finance Holding GmbH, IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH, S-Beteiligungsmanagement Leipzig GmbH and Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen mbH as well as existing Curacyte shareholders Techno Venture Management (TVM), GZ Paul Partners, IKB Private Equity, Alpinvest, and Stroh Companies. Terms of the merger and Series C Financing transaction were not disclosed.
The merger creates a biopharmaceutical company with a rich clinical, pre-clinical and discovery pipeline of medicines to treat inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases. Curacyte's lead product, PHP, is in phase 3 clinical development for distributive shock and phase 1 as a concomitant treatment for interleukin-2 (IL-2) treated patients with renal cell carcinoma and metastatic melanoma. Supported by encouraging results from a recent Phase 2c clinical trial of PHP in distributive shock, Curacyte is currently in discussions with potential pharmaceutical partners who have the ability to develop and market the product. The combined company has several pre-clinical products, scheduled to enter clinical development in 2006. Apart from establishing therapeutic focus, IBFB complements Curacyte's research resulting in leading edge drug discovery operations.
Commenting on the merger Dr. Helmut Schühsler, Chairman of the Curacyte Supervisory Board said:
"With this merger and the concomitant financing Curacyte has strengthened its science base and its product pipeline. The investment will be sufficient to take the company through to important value creating events. In my mind, Curacyte is now among the most attractive later stage companies in the German market."
Commenting on behalf of the new investors, Mario Ober, Investment Director and Chairman of the IBFB Supervisory Board said: "By merging their businesses, Curacyte and IBFB are creating a powerful company capable of competing with their European peers and that is well positioned to become a sustainable player by European standard. In addition, the participation of IBFB in such a transaction is a great endorsement for the middle German biotech region"
Curacyte AG was founded in February, 2001 as a research-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative and clinically meaningful new medicines in the areas of hematology, antithrombosis and oncology. In 2002, the company announced its merger with VitaResc Biotech AG a development-stage company focused on novel treatments for critical care conditions and inflammatory diseases. The recent merger with IBFB PHARMA marks Curacyte's rapid development into one of the leading Biotech companies in Germany .
IBFB PHARMA was founded in 1997 as a spin-off from the university of Leipzig. Since then IBFB has emerged as a drug discovery and development company focusing on validated targets in inflammatory diseases including asthma, COPD, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
Curacyte was advised in this transaction by BioConnect AG (Frankfurt, Germany), IBFB PHARMA by JSB Partners (Munich, Germany).