TxCell Raises $16M From InnoBio, Auriga, Seventure

TxCell SA said it raised $16 million in a third round of financing supported by the InnoBio fund, managed by CDC Entreprises, and existing shareholders Auriga Partners and Seventure Partners. InnoBio contributed about $7.8 million to the round.


TxCell raises EUR 12.4 million (USD 16 million) in a third financing round

InnoBio fund supports TxCell development

Valbonne, France, November 26, 2012 – TxCell SA, a biotechnology company developing cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of severe chronic inflammatory diseases with high unmet medical need, announces today that it raised EUR 12.4 million in a third financing round. This additional capital was provided by the InnoBio fund, managed by CDC Entreprises, for EUR six million and by TxCell’s existing shareholders Auriga Partners and Seventure Partners.

These additional financial resources will enable TxCell to pursue the development of its lead product candidate, Ovasave(R). Ovasave is an antigen-specific Treg cell-based immunotherapy for the treatment of Crohn’s disease in patients who are refractory to current treatments.

“The technology platform developed by TxCell offers a promising new therapeutic alternative for the many patients with severe chronic inflammatory diseases and who are refractory to current treatments,” said Laurent Arthaud, deputy CEO at CDC Entreprises. “We are impressed by the innovative therapeutic approach and the encouraging positive clinical data obtained so far by TxCell. The company has a strong and experienced management team in place and capital injection will provide the necessary resources to confirm the clinical findings obtained so far and reach the next important development milestone.”

To date, TxCell has completed a first in man PhI/II clinical study carried out in France to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of Ovasave. The results showed good tolerance and a positive efficacy signal. This was particularly impressive in the best dose group with 75 per cent of patients treated responding. The study results have just been published in Gastroenterology*, the most prominent journal in the field of gastrointestinal diseases and featured in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology.**

These promising results meant that TxCell decided to pursue the clinical development of Ovasave in the same patient population by performing a larger international blinded and placebo controlled phase IIb study.

“TxCell is now armed to move forward and to execute its business plan,” said Francois Meyer, chairman and chief executive officer at TxCell. “We value highly the support of InnoBio, as it acknowledges and validates our pioneering cell-based therapeutic approach for treating diseases with high unmet medical need. We also highly appreciate the continued support from our existing investors. This further investment gives us the necessary financial flexibility to progress as a leader in the emerging field of cell-based immunotherapies.”

TxCell has been funded by venture capital since 2004. A total of EUR 23.9 million has been invested in A/B rounds by five major investors, Auriga Partners, AXA Private Equity, CDC Entreprises via BioAm Fund, Innovation Capital and Seventure.

About CDC Entreprises / InnoBio
CDC Entreprises, an AMF-accredited fund management company and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Caisse des Depots, invests directly and indirectly in companies, from technological seed capital to small-scale mergers and acquisitions, at both
national and regional levels. It manages investments for France’s FSI (Fonds Strategique d’Investissement), for the Caisse des Depots (now its second largest investor) and for other public and private institutions in the small and medium size business sector. Its objective is to promote the emergence of firms with long-term, stable growth by strengthening their equity capital and supporting their development.

As such, CDC Entreprises manages on behalf of the state, under the Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir, the Fonds National d’Amorcage, the SME component of the Fonds National pour la Societe Numerique, FSN SME and the Fund Ecotechnologies.

CDC Entreprises is a major player in the equity financing of biotechnology companies in France. It participates, under the Programme FSI France Investissement, in funding of most French sectorial funds dedicated to life sciences. It is also the management company of InnoBio, a venture capital fund (FCPR) of 139 million euros, subscribed by the FSI (37 per cent) and major pharmaceutical companies worldwide (Sanofi Aventis, GSK, Roche, Novartis, Pfizer, Lilly, Ipsen, Takeda, Boehringer-Ingelheim). InnoBio operates on national territory. The main objective of the fund is to invest directly in equity and quasi-equity investments in companies providing products, services and innovative technology in the field of health. InnoBio is composed of a team of industry expert investors, led by Laurent Arthaud.

About Seventure Partners
Being one of the leading venture capital firms in Europe, Seventure manages more than EUR 500 million and has invested since 1997 in innovative businesses with high growth potential in software and internet and in hardware and telecom in France and Germany and in life sciences all over Europe.
In life sciences, our four preferred sectors are biotech and pharmaceuticals, medtech, industrial biotech, cleantech, lifestyle healthcare, personalized medicine and nutrition. We also consider investments in diagnostics, biomarkers, drug delivery systems, environment, bio-energy and services.
A typical investment ranges from EUR 0,5 to EUR 10 million, up to EUR 20 million per company, from early to later stage.
Seventure is a subsidiary of Natixis, the corporate, investment management and financial services arm of Groupe BPCE, the second-largest French bank.

About Auriga Partners
Auriga Partners is an independent venture capital firm. Based in Paris, it invests in information technologies and life sciences, in innovative high potential ventures and in seed or early development stages, in Europe, North America and Israel. Auriga Partners manages three funds for a total of more than EUR 330 million. Along with investing the necessary capital, Auriga Partners also brings its savoir-faire in developing and solidifying executive teams, organizing companies, broadening their networks and forming strategic and corporate partnerships. http://www.aurigapartners.com

About TxCell SA
TxCell, a spin off of Inserm (France’s National Institute for Health and Medical Research) is located in the technology park of Sophia Antipolis, near Nice in southern France. It is developing cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of severe chronic inflammatory diseases with high medical need using its unique and proprietary technology platform based on the properties of antigen-specific Type I regulatory T lymphocytes (Ag-Tregs). The company has completed a PhI/II study in refractory Crohn’s disease patients and has reported good tolerability and positive signals of efficacy. The company plans to initiate a PhIIb study in the same patient population. For more information http://www.txcell.com

* “Safety and Efficacy of Antigen-Specific Regulatory T-Cell Therapy for Patients With Refractory Crohn’s Disease”, published in Gastroenterology (Pierre Desreumaux, et al, 2012, Nov., Volume 143, Issue 5, Pages 1207-1217.e2)

** “IBD: Regulatory T-cell therapy is a safe and well-tolerated potential approach for treating refractory Crohn’s disease”, published in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology (McLarnon A, 2012, Oct.)