UK-based Altacor, an ophthalmic specialty pharmaceutical company, has closed a 1.9 million pounds ($3 million) second tranche of a total 3.4 million pound ($5.48 million) financing round. NVM Private Equity led the tranche, which included participation from Enterprise Ventures and Beringea. The first tranche closed in the autumn 2010 and was led by Esperante. The Aspire Fund and other unnamed investors also participated.
Altacor today announced the closing of the second tranche (GBP1.9m) of a GBP3.4m equity fund raising which was led by Clive Austin of NVM Private Equity and included Enterprise Ventures (through its RisingStars Growth Fund) and Beringea, an existing investor. The first tranche which closed in the autumn 2010 was led by Esperante and included The Aspire Fund (managed by Capital for Enterprise Ltd), 8 other existing Altacor investors and 4 further angel investors.
Dr Fran Crawford (CEO) welcomed the broadening of the shareholder base and said that it reflected confidence in Altacor’s strategy to build a European ophthalmic speciality pharmaceutical company. Altacor is building a portfolio of differentiated ophthalmic products to be launched over the short to medium term in addition to the already marketed Clinitas range of treatments for Dry Eye. The company is also pursuing a number of its own proprietary development projects, principally in glaucoma and ocular infection.
Commenting on the funding, Chairman Dr Andy Richards added, “The team at Altacor has made tremendous commercial and technical progress, providing a platform for growth which this investment will allow. Ophthalmology is well suited to our speciality pharma approach where focussed R&D and sales teams can engage directly with specialist ophthalmologists.”
Since its inception in 2007, Altacor has progressively built a successful sales presence in the United Kingdom and Ireland and is seeing substantial sales growth. Importantly, Altacor moved swiftly to secure worldwide rights to a platform technology for eye infections, gained orphan designation in USA and EU for a reprofiled drug for use with glaucoma surgery and established, with a US partner, exciting pre-clinical data using a nanotechnology approach for more effective delivery of therapeutics in glaucoma management. The new funding will allow acceleration in both sales and product development activities.
As a further element of its strategy to extend its international reach, Altacor is progressing opportunities with third parties including world-wide in-licensing of products and sales and marketing partnerships.
Altacor is an ophthalmic specialty pharmaceutical company. Its portfolio comprises development and marketed products in the following sub therapeutic areas: ocular surface disease, ocular anti-infective and glaucoma. The company focuses on differentiation through, for example, formulation or reprofiling. ALT 005 (surgical) and ALT 020 (ocular anti-infective), ALT 022 glaucoma and ALT 401 for prevention of scarring in glaucoma surgery are examples. Altacor has five products marketed in the UK (Clinitas/range) which are commercialised through its own sales and marketing organisation and network. Clinitas is a prescription product for moderate dry eye conditions with a uniquely high concentration of hyaluronic acid (0.4%) in the UK and is gaining acceptance by clinicians nationwide. The Clinitas range comprises three products (Hydrate, Soothe and Ultra 3) which together address the major causes of dry eye.
NVM Private Equity Limited (NVM) is independently owned with over 25 years’ experience of investing in unquoted UK businesses. NVM is a generalist investor, managing GBP190 million of funds, and is differentiated by having executives living and working in regional business communities throughout the UK. The fund manager benefits from co-investment across its funds; Northern Investors Company PLC, Northern Venture Trust PLC, Northern 2 VCT PLC, Northern 3 VCT PLC and Northern AIM VCT PLC, to enable total investments of between GBP2 million and GBP10 million.
About Enterprise Ventures
EV is a UK-based fund manager which provides venture and growth capital of up to GBP2million to new or existing SMEs located throughout the UK and trading across technology and non-technology sectors. It operates from regional offices in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston and manages a range of investment funds totalling more than GBP100million focusing on all stages of development, including proof of concept/early stage, start-up, development capital, replacement capital and MBO/MBIs.