EMBL Ventures Invests £2M ($3.3M) in a Second Close of Crescendo Biologics'
Series A Financing
CAMBRIDGE, England, April 3, 2014
CAMBRIDGE, England, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
£19.5M raised to drive development of best-in-class fully human V [H]
antibody fragment therapeutics
Crescendo Biologics Limited (Crescendo) today announces it has raised a
further £2m ($3.3m), from EMBL Ventures, in a final close of its Series A
financing. Originally announced in December 2013, the Series A now totals
£19.5m. It was led by Imperial Innovations and included new investor Astellas
Venture Management (AVM). Founding seed investor Sofinnova Partners also
contributed significantly to the round.
The funding is being used to advance Crescendo's in-house development
programmes in inflammation and oncology utilising its best-in-class V [H]
fragment discovery platform centred on the Crescendo Mouse.
Mike Romanos, CEO of Crescendo, said, "We are delighted to announce that EMBL
Ventures is joining the round. This is further recognition of the quality of
our science and the potential of our antibody fragment technology to deliver
new, high-value therapeutics to our own pipeline and to strategic partners."
Peter Pack, Partner of EMBL Ventures, said, "Crescendo has established a
pre-eminent position in antibody fragment technology through a unique
combination of features including in vivo maturation, diversity of the immune
response, unprecedented expression yields,and a plug&play modularity based on
fully human Ig sequences. With its first programmes advancing towards the
clinic, the Company is in an extremely strong position to benefit from its
ability to generate highly differentiated therapeutics."
Transgenic mice have had a major impact in monoclonal antibodies, where they
have delivered the majority of recent product approvals. The Crescendo Mouse
now achieves the same benefits for V [H] antibody fragments that is fully
human sequence with excellent potency and druggability.
V [H] domains are the smallest, most robust antibody fragments and as such
have advantages for tissue and tumour penetration, engineering of multivalent
products, topical delivery and simple manufacture. They are also the most
extensively validated fragment in the clinic. The unique Crescendo Mouse
harnesses the benefits of in vivo maturation, which naturally optimises
affinity and biophysical properties, to generate human V [H] with superior
properties for drug development. Critical to this is the use of the Company's
proprietary triple knockout mouse background which eliminates all mouse
antibody light chain contamination.
Crescendo is establishing an internal pipeline including a transformational
topical biologic for psoriasis and multivalent products for oncology
indications. These programmes draw on the power of Crescendo's V [H] platform
to produce novel, high-value product candidates to address areas of
significant medical need.
About Crescendo Biologics Ltd
Crescendo Biologics, based in Cambridge, UK, is focused on the discovery and
development of best-in-class human V [H] antibody fragment therapeutics using
its novel transgenic platform. Crescendo is enabling the major V [H] product
formats (multivalent, half-life-extended and topical) for its own pipeline,
focused in inflammation and oncology, and to make it the partner of choice for
human V [H] fragment therapeutics.
About EMBL Ventures
EMBL Ventures is the venture vehicle of the European Molecular Biology
Laboratory (EMBL). At EMBL Ventures, we originate companies and supply
financing for the development of next generation technologies towards proof of
concept. Based on this approach, six of our sixteen portfolio companies have
generated to date a transaction volume of more than € 1.5 billion in risk
sharing deals with Pharma partners.
EMBL is at the forefront of innovation in life sciences research, technology
development and transfer. EMBL is housed at five sites in Europe (headquarter
Heidelberg) and has more than 1.700 staff from 60 nations whose research and
expertise cover the whole spectrum of molecular biology.
About Imperial Innovations
Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering technologies addressing
global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment. It
combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen
and strong investment expertise. In December 2010 Innovations raised £140m to
accelerate the making of, and increase the size of, investments in companies
established under its existing intellectual property pipeline agreement with
Imperial College London. The Group also intends to invest in companies founded
by or based on technology from the University of Oxford, the University of
Cambridge and University College London.
About Astellas Venture Management
Astellas Venture Management LLC. is the corporate venture capital arm of
Astellas Pharma Inc., a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Tokyo,
Japan, which was formed through the merger of Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.
and Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. in April 2005. AVM's investment
objective is to find a venture company with a proprietary technology and
facilitate its growth by utilising Astellas' experience and network within the
biotechnology field. AVM's ability to offer not only investment funds, but
also the Astellas Group's powerful combination of scientific and technical
expertise, depth of drug development and marketing knowledge and long-term
business perspective, can give entrepreneurs and investors the very best
chance for their rapid growth and success.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is an independent venture capital firm based in Paris,
France. For more than 40 years, the firm has backed nearly 500 companies at
different stages of their development - pure creations, spin-offs, as well as
turnaround situations - and worked alongside Europe's key entrepreneurs in the
Life Sciences industry. With €1.3 billion of funds under management, Sofinnova
Partners has created market leaders with its experienced team and hands-on
approach in building portfolio companies through to exit.
Mike Romanos Crescendo Biologics Tel: +44-(0)1223-497140 Email:
Chris Gardner CitigateDeweRogerson Tel: +44-(0)207-638-9571 Email:
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