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Forbion Capital Partners. (2/7/17). "Press Release: Forbion Invests in Prexton Therapeutics’ EUR 29 Million (USD 31 Million) Series B Financing". Naarden.
|Organisation||Forbion Capital Partners|
|Organisation 2||Prexton Therapeutics S.A.|
|Product 2||foliglurax (PXT002331)|
Forbion & Seroba co-led funding, forming international consortium with Merck Ventures, Ysios and Sunstone
Funding to finance two Phase II trials in Parkinson’s disease
Forbion Capital Partners (“Forbion”), one of the leading Dutch Venture Capital firms investing in world-class healthcare technologies, today announced the closing of a Series B financing round of EUR 29 million (USD 31 million) for Prexton Therapeutics (Prexton). Prexton is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutic compounds for the treatment of Central Nervous System (CNS) conditions.
Forbion and Seroba Life Sciences (IE) co-led the financing round, which includes current investors Merck Ventures (NL), Ysios Capital (ES) and Sunstone Capital (DK). Marco Boorsma (Forbion) and Alan O’Connell (Seroba) will join the Board of Prexton.
The Series B funding will be used to finance two phase II studies of Prexton’s lead product, Foliglurax (formerly known as PXT002331) in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The phase II trials will start in 2017 and will take place in specialist centers in Europe and the US.
PD is a devastating progressive neurological condition affecting around 6.3 million people worldwide1. The disease is caused by the degeneration of dopaminergic brain cells and the main symptoms are resting tremor, muscle rigidity (“OFF-time”) and uncontrolled movements (“Dyskinesia”).
Current treatments aim to replace dopamine or to mimic its effects. Patients are administered with the dopamine precursor, L-DOPA. This treatment provides adequate symptomatic relief initially, but over time, it loses efficacy as the disease progresses and patients experience serious debilitating side effects, such as dyskinesia.
Prexton’s approach is to stimulate a compensatory neuronal system that is unaffected by PD. Instead of targeting the dopaminergic system, Foliglurax activates a specific target of the glutamatergic system (mGluR4). The aim of this product candidate is to treat the motor symptoms of PD.
A phase I trial with Foliglurax was successfully completed in September 2016. The results showed that Foliglurax was safe and well-tolerated at doses well above those that produce robust effects in PD primate models.
“It is a testament to the potential of Foliglurax that we have successfully completed such a significant funding round from high quality investors,” said Francois Conquet, CEO of Prexton Therapeutics. “We have developed a strong package of preclinical and phase I clinical data with Foliglurax. We are now keen to begin our phase II efficacy trials and continue the development of Foliglurax as a potential new therapeutic for Parkinson’s disease.”
“We have been very impressed with the science behind Foliglurax and the alternative route being explored by Prexton to treat this difficult disease. Early data is encouraging and we believe Prexton’s approach could make a significant difference to developing new treatment options for patients.” said Forbion’s Marco Boorsma. “As part of the funding round, we are helping Prexton set up operations in the Netherlands and supporting the company in starting trials. We look forward to working with the team”
1 The European Parkinson’s Disease Association: www.epda.eu.com/en/pd-info/about-parkinsons/?gclid=CPawttbG0NECFVTNGwod4RQHkA
Notes to editors:
About Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder affecting around 6.3 million people worldwide, characterized by a number of symptoms including tremors, limb stiffness, slowness of movements and difficulties with posture and balance.
Parkinson's disease is more prevalent in people over 60 and the incidence of the disease is expected to increase as the average age of the population increases. It is estimated that more than one million people in the United States live with the disease.
Today, the worldwide market of Parkinson’s disease is around USD 3bn (EUR 2.8bn). It is dominated by matured Dopaminergic treatments, which frequently induce negative side effects. There is an overall consensus in the field supporting the development of more efficient approaches, while limiting or even abolishing the occurrence of adverse effects.
About Prexton Therapeutics
Prexton Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company, founded in 2012 by Francois Conquet and Merck Ventures. It is part of a Merck Ventures entrepreneurial partnership program, which supports the creation of spin-offs from Merck. Prexton Therapeutics applies a new scientific approach that fully integrates molecular, behavioral and chemistry technologies to address Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders. Prexton Therapeutics uses its powerful discovery platform to target specific novel compounds focused on the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Prexton Therapeutics is based in Geneva (Switzerland) and in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
About Forbion Capital Partners
Forbion Capital Partners is a dedicated life sciences venture capital firm with offices in The Netherlands and Germany. Forbion invests in life sciences companies in the pharmaceutical, as well as the medical device space. Forbion’s investment team has built an impressive performance track record since the late nineties with successful investments in multiple companies. With the new FCFIII fund, Forbion manages well over EUR 700M (USD 745M) across six funds, including the new fund FCF III. Its investors include the EIF, through its European Recovery Programme (ERP), LfA and Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI) facilities and the KFW through the ERP - Venture Capital Fondsfinanzierung facility. Forbion also operates a joint venture with BioGeneration Ventures, who manage two separate seed and early stage funds focused on Benelux.
For further information please contact:
Forbion Capital Partners
P: +31 (0) 35 699 3022
Instinctif Partners (on behalf of Forbion)
Melanie Toyne Sewell / Daniel Gooch
P: +44 (0) 20 7866 7905
Record changed: 2017-02-15
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