MOSCOW, Russia. – April 23, 2015 – Jounce Therapeutics, Inc., a company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer immunotherapies coupled to patient selection strategies, today announced the successful completion of a $56 million oversubscribed Series B financing. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Jounce’s pipeline of cancer immunotherapy programs, including moving its lead program focused on Inducible T cell Co-stimulator (ICOS) into clinical testing, as well as advancing a second program through IND enabling studies. In addition, the investment will support expanded discovery of novel treatments aimed at tumors that are less likely to respond to T cell checkpoint monotherapy, including therapies that target innate immune and stromal cells.
“We are incredibly pleased to have the support of this group of investors and are in a strong position to advance multiple programs toward human clinical proof of concept studies, including our ICOS agonist monoclonal antibody,” said Richard Murray Ph.D., chief executive officer of Jounce. “Each of these programs leverages Jounce’s translational science platform, which is designed to match the most appropriate patients with new immunotherapies. We believe this approach will be very beneficial in guiding early development and, ultimately, delivering highly effective immunotherapies with durable responses to patients in need of better treatment options.”
Participation in the round included Wellington Management Company, Redmile Group, Nextech Invest, Pharmstandard International, Cormorant Asset Management, Omega Funds, Casdin Capital, Foresite Capital Management and an undisclosed blue chip public investment fund.
“Having been an investor in the earliest cancer immunotherapy companies, Redmile has seen the evolution of the space and the important impact these treatments are having for patients,” said Michael Lee, co-founding partner of Redmile Group. “We believe that Jounce has built a differentiated approach rooted in strong discovery and translational science capabilities that position it to bring the next wave of innovation to the field.”
“We are delighted to welcome this distinguished group of investors to support Jounce as it advances its science and programs,” said Cary Pfeffer, M.D., partner at Third Rock Ventures and chairman of Jounce’s board of directors. “Jounce has made tremendous progress since launching two years ago, including advancing its innovative translational science approach, patient selection strategies, and the discovery of novel therapies. With its founders’ and senior management team’s experience in immunotherapy Jounce is well positioned to be a leader in the field.”
About Jounce Therapeutics
Jounce Therapeutics is dedicated to transforming the treatment of cancer through discovering and developing novel cancer immunotherapies with the potential to drive significantly more durable responses to treatment, extending and improving patients’ quality of life. Jounce utilizes translational science insights to match the right targets to well defined patient populations in order to achieve a higher probability of success and rapid proof-of-concept. The company is pursuing programs against multiple targets in the T cell checkpoint area, as well as programs beyond T cell checkpoints, where current immunotherapies are less likely to be effective. Founded by world leaders in tumor immunology, cancer biology and clinical and translational medicine, Jounce Therapeutics was launched in 2013 with initial funding from leading life sciences investor, Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit www.jouncetx.com.
Pure Communications, Inc.
About Pharmstandard International SA
Pharmstandard International SA – is a venture investments company fully owned by OJSC Pharmstandard (LSE:PHST) – focused on innovative drugs/therapies with strong potential in global markets and in Russia. Inbio Ventures is a management company representing Pharmstandard International S.A., and providing professional support in venture transactions. For more information, please visit www.inbio-ventures.com.
MOSCOW, Russia – Jan. 26, 2015 – enGene Inc., a Montreal-based biotechnology enterprise developing an innovative platform technology for delivering genes to cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, announced today the closing of a $13.5 million Series B investment round led by Forbion Capital Partners, with participation of new investors Qu?bec’s Fonds de solidarit? FTQ and Pharmstandard International S.A.. Existing investor Lumira Capital via its Merck Lumira Biosciences Fund, which led the Series A round in 2013, also participated.
enGene Inc. is a biotechnology company that focuses on the discovery and development of novel DNA-based therapeutics using its proprietary delivery platform. It has developed a robust carrier for delivery of DNA or RNA to the gut, effectively turning the gut into a protein factory. enGene is initially applying its unique platform technology to deliver immune-modulating biologics to the intestine and has demonstrated efficacy as a mucosal immunotherapy in several animal models for autoimmune diseases including, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Type 1 diabetes. enGene’s gene delivery technology for the gut is highly efficient, non-toxic and it can be dosed repeatedly by enema or formulated as an orally available solid dosage form.
Proceeds from the series B financing round will be used to advance enGene’s lead product, EG-12, into phase I/II clinical trials. EG-12 consists of a unique carrier-DNA complex that provides gut-localized expression of IL-10 being developed for the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC). IL-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine and individuals with genetic defects within the IL-10 signaling pathway suffer from severe early-onset inflammation of the gut. In addition, enGene will finalize the oral formulation of its carrier to create a “gene pill” that can be used to turn the gut into an endogenous production site for a wide range of systemically available therapeutic proteins that currently have to be administered by injection or infusion.
“While there has historically been a huge interest in the delivery of RNA in all its forms, non-viral delivery of DNA has surprisingly received little attention”, commented Dr. Sander van Deventer, Managing Partner of Forbion and a recognized expert in gastroenterology. “The unique technology of enGene effectively turns the gut into a protein factory, and given the strong genetic relation between IL-10 and ulcerative colitis, we expect EG-12 to provide significant benefit to IBD patients. Moreover, as the technology seems very well suited for oral formulation there is the potential for what is called a ‘gene pill’. This novel technology could be used to treat not only IBD, but a much wider range of diseases, including those that are currently treated by parenteral protein replacement therapy. Forbion is very excited to have led this financing round”.
“The Fonds de solidarit? FTQ’ investment in enGene shows our commitment to working with venture funds specialized in health sciences. This financing from a solid group of international investors will allow enGene to rapidly move forward with the development of its platform for unmet medical needs in the multi-billion dollar IBD market, as well as prove the potential of the ‘gene pill carrier’,” commented Alain Denis, Senior Vice-President, New Economy at the Fonds de solidarit? FTQ.
“Indeed, we were very much impressed by solid scientific expertise at enGene confirmed by outstanding EG-12 preclinical data package. Given the strategic interest of Pharmstandard in the IBD space, we are delighted to expand our franchise in that area through enGene, and particularly honored to continue working with our partner investors,” continued Dr. Andrei Petrov, Chief Executive Officer of Inbio Ventures, a management company representing Pharmstandard International S.A.
“The team has made great progress since our initial investment and we are pleased and excited with the quality of investors joining us in this venture,” said Lumira Managing Director, Dr. Brian Underdown.
“This new round of investment is a testament to the innovative work conducted by our research team in the last 2 years in developing a best-in-class formulation for delivering genes to the gut. We have demonstrated that this proprietary platform technology can be used effectively to localize delivery of protein drugs to the gut,” said Dr.Anthony Cheung, President and CEO of enGene. “Another recent exciting development is that we have succeeded in turning our drug formulation into an orally available ‘gene pill’. This breakthrough has unlocked the huge potential of enGene’s core technology in enabling delivery of protein-based drugs via the oral route. Part of the proceeds from this financing will be used to develop a ‘gene pill’ to achieve oral delivery of a long-acting insulin and GLP-1 analog for subjects with Type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Cheung further commented.
About enGene Inc.
enGene Inc. is a private Canadian biotechnology company developing an innovative mucosal immunotherapy platform for treating several prevalent, chronic diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and diabetes. enGene has developed a proprietary, highly flexible, non-integrating biopolymer-based nucleotide (DNA and siRNA) delivery technology that facilitates localized delivery of immune-modulating proteins to the intestinal mucosa for treating various immune disorders. enGene’s unique nucleotide delivery formulation can be delivered to the gut via oral or enema route. For more information, please visit www.engeneinc.com.
About Forbion Capital Partners
Forbion Capital Partners is a dedicated Life Sciences venture capital firm with offices in Naarden, The Netherlands,Munich, Germany and representation in Boston, US. Forbion invests in life sciences companies in drug discovery & development as well as medical device companies addressing substantial unmet medical needs. Forbion’s investment team of ten investment professionals has built an impressive performance track record since the late nineties with successful investments in Rhein Biotech, Crucell, Neutec, Glycart, Borean, Impella, Alantos, Acorda (ACOR), Fovea, Insmed (INSM), PanGenetics, Argenta Discovery, BioVex, Pathway Medical, CircuLite, bluebird bio (BLUE), uniQure (QURE), Argos (ARGS), arGEN-X (ARGX.BR), Santaris and Pneumrx. Forbion also operates a joint venture with BioGeneration Ventures, who manages two separate seed and early stage funds focused on Benelux. Including the new fund FCF III, Forbion manages EUR 540M across 5 funds. Its investors include the EIF through its European Recovery Programme (ERP), LfA and Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI) facilities. For more information, please visit www.forbion.com.
About the Fonds de solidarit? FTQ
The Fonds de solidarit? FTQ helps drive our economy. With net assets of $10.5 billion as of November 30, 2014, the Fonds is a development capital fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the economy to help create and maintain jobs and further Qu?bec’s development. The Fonds is a partner, either directly or through its network members, in more than 2,450 companies. With more than 600,000 shareholder-savers, the Fonds helps create, maintain and protect more than 172,000 jobs. For more information, visit www.FondsFTQ.com.
About Lumira Capital
Lumira Capital is a leading life sciences and healthcare venture capital firm, with offices in Toronto, Montreal, andBoston. The firm is focused on partnering with entrepreneurial management teams and other leading venture capital and corporate investors to build best-in-class, innovation centric life sciences companies that are seeking to meet significant needs in the global landscape. Lumira closed two new funds in March 2012, Lumira Capital II and the Merck Lumira Biosciences Fund. Lumira is the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Associations’ 2013 venture capital deal of the year award winner for its realized investment in KAI Pharmaceuticals. For more information, please visit www.lumiracapital.com.
About Pharmstandard International S.A.
Pharmstandard International S.A. – is a venture investments company fully owned by OJSC Pharmstandard (LSE:PHST) – focused on innovative drugs/therapies with strong potential in global markets and in Russia. Inbio Ventures is a management company representing Pharmstandard International S.A., and providing professional support in venture transactions. For more information, please visit www.inbio-ventures.com.
HBM Partners Leads Round to Support Phase 2 Program for Hyperoxaluria
MOSCOW, Russia – Dec. 5, 2014 – Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative non-systemic oral protein therapeutics to treat metabolic and orphan diseases, today announced the succesful completion of a $25 million Series B financing. The financing was led by HBM Partners, joined by existing investors Frazier Healthcare, Third Rock Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and new undisclosed investor. In conjunction with the financing, Axel Bolte, investment advisor at HBM, will join Allena’s board of directors. The financing enables Allena to advance ALLN-177, its lead program for the treatment of hyperoxaluria, into Phase 3 development.
Building on positive Phase 1 data, Allena recently initated a Phase 2 trial of ALLN-177 in patients with hyperoxaluria. Allena plans to begin additional Phase 2 trials in early 2015.
“Allena has made tremendous progress in moving forward with developing a potential treatment for hyperoxaluria, a serious metabolic disease that has currently no effective pharmacologic treatments and can lead to serious kidney related complications like nephrocalcinosis, oxalate nephropathy, kidney stones and kidney transplant,” said Mr. Bolte. “Allena has established itself as a leader in the treatment of hyperoxaluria and other metabolic diseases, and I look forward to
working with the company to bring forward this treatment for the many patients in need.”
The funding will advance the company’s ALLN-177 program for use as a novel treatment for secondary hyperoxaluria and to explore its use in additional indications such as oxalate nephropathy and primary hyperoxaluria. In addition, the financing enables Allena to bring forward new products based on Allena’s non-systemic oral protein therapeutic platform. Allena Pharmaceuticals has raised a total of $43 million in private financing to date.
“We have made tremendous progress since our Series A financing, with the completion of a Phase 1 clinical trial, significant patent work to protect our intellectual property and improvements in manufacturing capabilities, all of which resulted in the initiation of a groundbreaking Phase 2 program,” said Robert Gallotto, chief operating officer of Allena. “Hyperoxaluria is a serious unmet need, and we believe ALLN-177 may provide the first safe and effective pharmacological option for patients.”
Hyperoxaluria is a serious metabolic condition resulting from high oxalate levels in the urine due to either hyper-absorption of oxalate from the diet (secondary hyperoxaluria) or from overproduction of oxalate by the liver due to a hereditary enzyme deficiency (primary hyperoxaluria). Hyperoxaluria can initially cause the development of kidney stones and can lead to nephrocalcinosis and oxalate nephropathy that leads to chronic kidney disease (CKD), endstage renal disease (ESRD) and dialysis.
Secondary hyperoxaluria often leads to recurrent and frequent kidney stone episodes. Kidney stones are also associated with a two-fold higher risk of CKD and ESRD and a higher risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events such as stroke. The risk for kidney stones increases with elevated levels of oxalate excretion, and the prevalence of hyperoxaluria is greater in patients with intestinal disease or malabsorption of nutrients. Kidney stones are painful, debilitating and result in significant social and financial burden, leading to significant impairment in quality of life (QOL). There are approximately 1.3 million emergency room visits (approximately 1 percent of all visits) and 3.6 million office visits annually for kidney stones. In 2010, approximately 12 percent of people with emergency department discharges had more than two admissions for kidney stones.
Primary hyperoxaluria (PH) is a rare inherited disorder affecting the liver that leads to markedly elevated levels of oxalate in plasma and urine. Hyperoxaluria causes kidney stone formation and accumulation of oxalate in tissues, as well as calcification of the kidney ultimately leading to kidney failure and premature death. Patients with primary hyperoxaluria typically present with kidney stones, anywhere from birth to their mid-20s. Among patients with primary hyperoxaluria, about 50 percent will have kidney failure by age 15, and about 80 percent will have kidney failure by age 30. PH affects approximately 5,000 patients worldwide.
Allena’s lead program ALLN-177 is an orally administered, highly active recombinant oxalatedegrading enzyme for the chronic management of hyperoxaluria and kidney stones (nephrolithiasis). ALLN-177 specifically targets oxalate in the gastrointestinal tract, reducing both dietary and endogenously produced oxalate. ALLN-177 has the potential to decrease oxalate available for deposition as calcium oxalate crystals or stones in the kidneys, as well as other related complications. ALLN-177 is the first pharmacologic treatment to produce a statistically significant reduction in urinary oxalate excretion in a controlled trial – a positive finding for patients with hyperoxaluria.
About HBM Partners
HBM Partners is among the global leaders in healthcare-focused investing with approximately USD 1 billion under management. HBM focuses on development stage, growth and buy-out financings of private companies as well as investments in public companies. HBM Partners advises HBM Healthcare Investments AG, HBM BioCapital and further specialized privateequity and public-equity funds. HBM has a complementary team of experienced professionals to source, analyze, execute and exit investments in the pharma/biotech, medical devices and diagnostics industries. HBM Partners has been an active contributor to value creation in its portfolio companies, generating over 40 trade sales and IPOs since inception.
About Allena Pharmaceuticals
Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing non-systemic protein therapeutics to treat metabolic and orphan diseases. Allena’s lead program, ALLN-177, is in an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with hyperoxaluria. The company’s proven approach enables the design and development of oral protein therapies that remain in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where the protein exerts its therapeutic effect by reducing toxic metabolites without being absorbed into the bloodstream.
Led by a proven management team with deep expertise in protein therapeutic design and development, Allena is committed to bringing new breakthrough treatments to patients with unmet medical needs. Based in Newton, Mass., the company is backed by top-tier venture investors including Frazier Healthcare, Third Rock Ventures, HBM Partners, and Bessemer Venture Partners. For more information, please visit www.allenapharma.com.
Chief Operating Officer
Moscow – Nov. 25, 2014 — Proteon Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:PRTO), a company developing novel, first-in-class pharmaceuticals to address the medical needs of patients with kidney and vascular diseases, today announced the previous closing of its initial public offering of 6,110,000 shares of its common stock at an initial public offering price of $10.00 per share, which closed on October 27, 2014. The Company has also announced the closing of the exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase 916,500 additional shares of common stock at an initial public offering price of $10.00 per share, which closed on November 21, 2014. All of the shares of common stock were offered by Proteon. The company’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the trading symbol “PRTO.” The gross proceeds of the offering, including from the exercise of the underwriters’ option, are $70.3 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses.
Stifel and JMP Securities acted as joint book-running managers for the offering, and Baird and Oppenheimer & Co. acted as co-managers for the offering.
A registration statement relating to these securities was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 21, 2014. The offering was made only by means of a prospectus, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Attention: Syndicate, One Montgomery Street, Suite 3700, San Francisco, CA 94104, telephone: (415) 364-2720, email: email@example.com or JMP Securities LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, 600 Montgomery Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111, telephone: (415) 835-8985.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
About Proteon Therapeutics
Proteon Therapeutics Inc. is developing novel, first-in-class pharmaceuticals to address the medical needs of patients with kidney and vascular diseases. The company is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.
George Eldridge, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Chris Erdman or Lynnea Olivarez, MacDougall Biomedical Communications
About Pharmstandard International S.A./ Inbio Ventures
Pharmstandard International S.A. – a holding company fully committed by OJSC Pharmstandard (LSE:PHST) – is a venture investments fund focused on innovative drugs/therapies with strong potential at global markets and in Russia. Inbio Ventures is a management company representing Pharmstandard International, S.A., and providing professional support in venture transactions.