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Formac Raises First Round

Formac Pharmaceuticals NV, a Belgium-based developer of improved oral compounds of small organic drugs, has raised Euro1.7 million in VC funding. Backers include Allegro Investment Fund, Hunza Ventures, Gemma Frisius Fonds K.U.Leuven II and Vinnof.


FORMAC Pharmaceuticals N.V. announced today that it has raised EUR1.7 million (USD2.4 million) to start up a new drug delivery business focused on the development of improved oral formulations of small organic drug compounds. FORMAC is a spin-off company from the University of Leuven (K.U.Leuven) based on four proprietary drug delivery technologies. The financing round was led by Allegro Investment Fund, Hunza Ventures, Gemma Frisius Fonds K.U.Leuven II and Vinnof.


FORMAC will use its proprietary technology platform as a starting-point for the in-house development of improved delivery forms of generics and branded drugs of which the patent rights are near expiration. In parallel, FORMAC will provide access to its unique drug delivery technologies and pre-formulation skills in contract R&D and licensing collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.

FORMAC's technology platform results from a long- term multi-disciplinary academic collaboration between the following K.U.Leuven research groups: Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Prof. Guy Van den Mooter and Prof. Patrick Augustijns), Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (Prof. Johan Martens), Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering (Prof. Jan van Humbeeck) and Department of Pathophysiology (Prof. Paul Rutgeerts).


“Drug delivery is a booming business and FORMAC intends to become one of the key players in this industry”, says Laurens G. Theunis, Chief Executive Officer of FORMAC. “This investment will allow us to rapidly advance our internal programs towards clinical development and to gradually expand our global commercialization activities”.


“We were impressed with the enormous scientific and commercial potential of FORMAC's technology platform”, says Geert Everaert, Managing Partner of Allegro Investment Fund and Chairman of FORMAC. “FORMAC's new approach to drug development will allow pharmaceutical companies to enhance R&D productivity as well as to address the need for better and safer medicines”.

About the investors:


* Allegro Investment Fund is a Belgium-based open end seed capital investment fund, focusing on high-tech ventures. The fund combines more then 40 years of experience in high-tech start- up management.


* Hunza Ventures is the venture capital arm of a privately held group. The group aims at investing in companies with great potential for value creation and applying its business experience, knowledge and network to make them best-in-class. As a venture capitalist, Hunza focuses on investments in high- tech, biotech/pharma and Medtech industries.


* Gemma Frisius Fonds K.U.Leuven is the venture capital fund of K.U.Leuven, a partnership between Fortis Private Equity, KBC Private Equity and K.U.Leuven Research & Development. With a total of 25 million euros at its disposal, the fund provides seed and start-up capital to spin-offs that aim to commercialize knowledge and research results developed at K.U. Leuven or at an institute of higher education in the K.U. Leuven Association.


* Vinnof (Vlaams Innovatiefonds – Flemish Innovation Fund) is an early stage/seed capital provider for young, innovative companies and start-ups based in Flanders. Vinnof is a 100% subsidiary of ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen NV, the investment vehicle of the Flemish government. Through its investments, Vinnof aims to facilitate financing by private investors, either at the same time or in a next phase.