German Biotech Receives $17.5M to Expand in U.S.


German biotechnology firm LEUKOCARE, which has operations in Milford, Connecticut, has announced the closing of a $17.5 million financing round from New York investment firm Petrichor Healthcare Capital Management

The investment consists of a convertible loan worth $15 million and a $2.5 million equity stake in Leukocare. In a press release, the company said that the funds will be used to further expand its operations in the U.S. 

The investment is huge and will be instrumental in bolstering its bioinformatics unit and supporting mRNA formulation and viral vector and vaccine development efforts. Its operations in the country are located within its long-time partner Rentschler Biopharma SE's headquarters.

Leukocare started its U.S. operations in January 2021, with the goal to strengthen its biostatics and artificial intelligence units to support its U.S.-based clients and create fresh opportunities and partnerships. 

In an earlier statement, the firm mentioned that its new on-the-ground presence will be focused on drug product formulation development, particularly for advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP). However, it could certainly reach out to other related endeavors as well. 

In the U.S., the German firm operates under the name Leukocare Inc, but it remains a wholly-owned subsidiary of the European parent. Leukocare and Rentschler Biopharma have been collaborating on various projects since 2017 to develop "best-in-class formulation development services in every step of the biopharmaceutical value chain."

The firm's in-house bioinformatics division enables the company to develop superior formulations in less time by utilizing deep learning algorithms. With that said, further investments into this capacity allow them to enlarge the database and support its machine learning infrastructure to amplify scientists' fields of knowledge. 

Concurrent with the financing round, Leukocare announced the installation of Petrichor founder and managing partner Tadd Wessel to its supervisory board. Wessel brings over two decades of healthcare finance experience to the company. Before founding Petrichor, he was the managing director at New York-based investment firm OrbiMed Advisors, where he was credited for building the company's healthcare special situations and structure finance unit. 

"We are thrilled about the completion of this financing round. Our vast expertise in formulation development of biopharmaceuticals and viral vectors in combination with innovative bioinformatics puts us at the forefront of drug product development in these fields. This funding enables us to expedite our growth plans," Michael Scholl, chief executive at Leukocare, was quoted as saying.

Leukocare AG 's use of AI and bioinformatics to develop drug products is anchored on a massive library of data supporting its research efforts. The company describes its approach as a combination of two elements: the use of statistical software and self-learning algorithms and a repository of up to 100 well-established and employed excipients. These allow its scientists to develop formulations that are tailored to a drug product's requirements.

Petrichor is known for partnering with world-class healthcare businesses and managers to provide investment support. As of this writing, the company lists more than 80 investments worth over $5 billion in capital and over 30 board seats. It mainly focuses on biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and medical technology.


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