Gimv, Others Exit Investment in Plexxikon

Daiichi Sankyo has agreed to buy Plexxikon for $805 million, providing an exit for venture investors including Belgian firm GIMV. Future milestone payments could total an additional $130 million, the company said. Plexxikon develops novel small molecule pharmaceuticals to treat human disease. Gimv first invested in Plexxikon during a series B financing in 2002. The company is also backed by Alta Partners, ATV, Walden International, Pappas Ventures and CW Ventures.

Gimv today announced that Daiichi Sankyo ( has signed a binding agreement for the acquisition of portfolio company Plexxikon (USA). Under the terms of the agreement Daiichi Sankyo has agreed a purchase price for Plexxikon of USD 805 million upfront. Subsequent milestone payments associated with the approval of the companies lead compound (PLX4032) could total an additional USD 130 million USD. Closing of the transaction is subject to antitrust clearance under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Plexxikon ( is a leader in the structure-guided discovery and development of novel small molecule pharmaceuticals to treat human disease. The company’s lead compound, PLX4032, recently met its co-primary endpoints in a Phase 3 clinical trial in patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma with the BRAF mutation.

In addition to PLX4032, Plexxikon has a pipeline of additional products in development and pre-development, including multiple agents to treat cancer. Plexxikon’s proprietary Scaffold-Based Drug Discovery™ platform integrates multiple state-of-the-art technologies, including structural screening as a key component that provides a significant competitive advantage over other drug discovery approaches. The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Berkeley, California. To date Plexxikon raised approximately USD 67 million in three venture rounds, led by a group of highly experienced and well-regarded biotechnology investors.

Gimv is a shareholder of Plexxikon since the series B financing round in 2002, together with Alta Partners, ATV, Walden International, Pappas Ventures and CW Ventures. Gimv is the sole European investor within this group of international investors.

The sale has a positive impact of EUR 30.5 million (EUR 1.32 per share) on Gimv’s last published equity value at 31 December 2010. Over the entire investment period, the shareholding’s return is significantly above Gimv’s historic average. No further financial details on this transaction will be disclosed.

Plexxikon is Gimv’s sixth venture capital exit over the past twelve months, after having sold Movetis to Shire, Liquavista to Samsung, CoreOptics to Cisco, L&C to Nuance and Coware to Synopsis.