Atlas and Glaxo back Austrian biotech business

Atlas Venture and SR One, the corporate venture fund of GlaxoSmithKline, have co-led a €14.1m Series B round for ProtAffin, an Austrian biotech company.

The company, which is based in Graz, is developing anti-inflammatory biopharmaceutical products. It uses engineered versions of human proteins to be used in therapies for a range of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and cancer.

ProtAffin has also received backing from existing investors Aescap Venture, Entrepreneurs Fund and Z-Cube. Dr Regina Hodits of Atlas Venture and Dr Deborah Harland of SR One will join ProtAffin’s Supervisory Board.

Kreske Nickelsen, partner at Aescap Ventures and chairman of ProtAffin’s Supervisory Board said: “ProtAffin has been able to finalise a strong financing round in difficult times and we are very pleased to be co-investing with funds such as Atlas and SR One. This financing shows that strong financial support is available for outstanding technology companies. As the first VC to fund ProtAffin in 2007, we believe that long-term value generation requires both novel “first-in-class” innovation with people who can make it happen. I look very much forward to the next phase of company development”.

ProtAffin held a two stage Series A round, beginning in May 2007 when Aescap and Z-Cube invested €2.65m. The Entrepreneurs Fund BV invested €1.35m in January 2008, bringing the total amount of venture capital raised by the business after the latest round to €18.1m.