PROMETHERA Biosciences S.A./N.V. Raises $31.4 Million Series C

Published: Nov 25, 2014

Promethera Biosciences Raises $31.4 Million Series C

November 25, 2014

By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Editor

Belgian biotech Promethera Biosciences said Tuesday it has finished a Series C fundraising round of $31.4 million, including $25.26 million in capital, from Vesalius Biocapital, Boehringer Ingelheim, SRIW, Shire, Mitsui Global Investment, Pall-ATMI LifeSciences, Vives-Louvain Technology Transfer Office Fund, Venture Fund SFPI-FPIM, the Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company and SMS Investments.

The company said it will use the money to further develop its Promethera HepaStem products, a cell-based therapy for the treatment of congenital errors of metabolism and acquired liver diseases. HepaStem is based on Heterologous Human Adult Liver Progenitor Cells (HHALPC), which the company believes has the potential to treat a wide variety of congenital and acquired liver diseases.

The massive number of funders was prompted by the successful completion of the HepaStem phase I/II study, following a Series B fundraising in March 2012 when $21.2 million in equity was raised. In addition, the Belgium’s Walloon region has doubled down on the company and granted loans and subsidies of $6.2 million to support the clinical development of HepaStem and the collaborative program with EMD-Millipore.

"We have made substantial progress and obtained significant achievements during the past three years, including the successful completion of our phase I/II clinical trial with Promethera HepaStem in Urea Cycle Disorders and Crigler-Najjar disease,” said Eric Halioua, chief executive officer of Promethera Biosciences. “The study provided positive safety and preliminary efficacy data that enabled us to pursue the development of these indications. In addition, we have already obtained the first authorization for the HEP002 study, a phase IIb/III clinical trial in Urea Cycle Disorders.”

Promethera has historically been supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (the venture capital fund of the German pharmaceutical group); Shire, a U.K. biopharmaceutical company; Mitsui Global Investment, the venture capital fund of Japanese industrial conglomerate Mitsui & Co Ltd. and Pall-ATMI LifeSciences; and the Vives-Louvain Technology Transfer Office Fund. It is also funded by several unnamed business angels.

"We are hopeful that Promethera's technology will shift the treatment paradigm for patients living with orphan liver diseases,” said Professor Etienne Sokal, chief scientific officer and founder of Promethera Biosciences, pediatric hepatologist at Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc (Belgium). “We see a lot of interest from healthcare professionals who are eager to see this innovative therapy become a reality to support patients with high unmet medical needs."

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