- The Roche Venture Fund joins international investor syndicate, including co-lead investors Sofinnova Partners and AbbVie Ventures
- Funds to be used to advance restorative therapy for type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease
- Largest international VC-backed Series A financing round for a biotech in Italy to date and first ever venture investment in an Italian company by both AbbVie Ventures and Roche Venture Fund
- Proceeds to be used for clinical proof-of-concept for lead product Ent001 (IGFBP3/TMEM219 inhibitor) for type 1 diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases and progress pipeline assets
Milan, Italy, 28 January 2021 – Enthera Pharmaceuticals (“Enthera”), a biotech company developing disease-modifying biologics to transform the therapeutic paradigm of specific autoimmune conditions by re-establishing stem cell capabilities in a non-traditional way, today announces the final closing of its Series A financing, with a total financing of €35 million.
The Roche Venture Fund joins a renowned international investment syndicate following the fundraising’s first close of €28 million which was announced in July 2020, co-led by seed investor Sofinnova Partners, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm based in Paris, London, and Milan, and incoming investor AbbVie Ventures. Rounding out the syndicate was the JDRF T1D Fund (the venture philanthropy fund of the JDRF) and several Italian investors including a group coordinated by Banor SIM, a group coordinated by Banca Profilo through Arepo Fiduciaria and Indaco Venture Partners SGR.
The €35 million raised is the largest VC-backed Series A funding round for an Italian biotechnology company to date.
The Series A marks both the Roche Venture Fund’s and AbbVie’s first venture investment into an Italian biotech company. Enthera was also the first European investment of the JDRF T1D fund, which previously invested in the Company during its €4 million seed extension funding round in 2018. As part of the Series A round, Carole Nuechterlein, Head Roche Venture Fund, joins the Enthera Board of Directors.
The proceeds from the Series A financing will be used to obtain clinical proof-of-concept through a first-in-human study of Ent001, Enthera’s lead candidate. Ent001 is the only drug in development with the potential to restore the pancreatic beta cell compartment in type 1 diabetes as well as the original intestine structure in inflammatory bowel disease, in order to re-establish organ function. The funds will also be used to further develop Enthera’s pipeline.
Commenting on the successful Series A financing, Giovanni Amabile, CEO of Enthera, said: “Having the Roche Venture Fund close out our Series A fundraising boosts our international investor syndicate and provides further validation of the work being done at Enthera. The considerable amount raised highlights both the strides that the Company is taking, and the advances that Italy has made within the industry.
“These funds raised will enable us to accelerate our lead program Ent001 to clinical proof-of-concept. Through this and our wider pipeline, we hope to develop safe, effective treatments to patients affected by intractable diseases such as type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.”
Silvano Spinelli, Chairman of Enthera, added: “We are delighted to close our Series A with the Roche Venture Fund now on board, along with Sofinnova Partners and AbbVie Ventures. Enthera’s ability to attract high-quality investors and to raise significant Series A financing during a difficult year speaks to the quality of the Company, and the strength of its pioneering scientific approach for autoimmune diseases with significant medical need. I am confident that Giovanni and the team will use the additional funds and support to make a real difference to patients with these conditions.”
Enthera was formed in 2016 on the basis of research by scientific founders Prof. Paolo Fiorina and Dr. Francesca D’Addio. The Company is the first spin-off of the Italian biotech accelerator BiovelocITA, founded by Sofinnova Partners, Silvano Spinelli and Gabriella Camboni, which provided the initial seed fund. A seed extension was financed in 2018 by Sofinnova Partners, JDRF T1D fund and the other existing investors.
For further information, please contact:
Giovanni Amabile, CEO
T: +39 (0)2 3456778
Instinctif Partners (media enquiries)
Dr Christelle Kerouedan / Siobhan Sanford / Kiki Zaccagnini
Tel: +44 20 7457 2020
Notes to Editors
Enthera Srl is a biotech company developing first-in-class biologics to transform the treatment paradigm of specific autoimmune conditions by re-establishing stem cell capabilities in a non-traditional way. The Company’s primary target indications are type 1 diabetes (T1D) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Enthera’s pioneering approach capitalizes on the key discovery of the IGFBP3/TMEM219 pathway, which is involved in beta cell and stem cell apoptosis in pancreas and gut, respectively.
The Company is building a pipeline of inhibitory monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and fusion proteins targeting the pathway via multiple angles. Its lead program Ent001 is the only drug in development with the potential to restore the endogenous pancreatic stem cell compartment in T1D as well as the original intestine structure in IBD, in order to re-establish organ function.
Enthera is a private company headquartered in Milan, Italy and founded in 2016 by Prof Paolo Fiorina and Dr Francesca D’Addio at BiovelocITA, an Italian biotech accelerator. The Company is backed by Sofinnova Partners , AbbVie Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, , and JDRF T1D fund. Enthera’s discovery engine and assets are protected by a broad portfolio of patents.
For more information, visit www.entherapharmaceuticals.com
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About the Roche Venture Fund
The Roche Venture Fund invests in early stage biotech and diagnostics companies to develop commercially successful innovative life science companies. Based in Basel, Switzerland with an office in South San Francisco, the Roche Venture Fund invests globally with a portfolio of over 40 companies. For more information, please visit Roche Venture Fund.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, London and Milan, the firm brings together a team of over 40 professionals from all over Europe, the U.S. and Asia.The firm focuses on paradigm-shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners invests across the Life Sciences value chain as a lead or cornerstone investor, from very early-stage opportunities to late-stage/public companies. It has backed 500 companies over more than 48 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2 billion under management. For more information, please visit: www.sofinnovapartners.com
About AbbVie Ventures
AbbVie Ventures is the corporate venture capital group of AbbVie. We are a strategic investor, investing exclusively in novel, potentially transformational science aligned with AbbVie’s core R&D interests. We measure success primarily by the extent to which our investments foster innovation with potential to transform the lives of patients that AbbVie serves. AbbVie Ventures enables its portfolio companies with both funding as well as access to AbbVie’s internal network of experts across all phases of drug development, from drug discovery through commercialization. For more information, please visit www.abbvie.com/ventures.
About the JDRF T1D Fund
The JDRF T1D Fund is a venture philanthropy fund accelerating life-changing solutions to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) through catalytic equity investments. Through its investments in partnership with private capital, including venture capital, corporations and foundations, the T1D Fund seeks to attract the private investment necessary to advance therapeutics, devices, diagnostics and vaccines into the hands of those living with T1D. The T1D Fund invests in areas strategically aligned with JDRF, the leading global organization funding T1D research, with an exclusive focus on supporting the best commercial opportunities. The T1D Fund reinvests any realized gains into new investments to further its mission.
BiovelocITA S.r.l. is the first Italian accelerator dedicated to biotech. It was founded by Silvano Spinelli, Gabriella Camboni and Sofinnova Partners. Thanks to BiovelocITA, entrepreneurs, scientists and investors can work together to accelerate biotech projects with an international scope and reach the “proof of concept” that precedes the clinical phase. Set up to offer innovative solutions to the medical community and to patients, BiovelocITA supports the creation and development of innovative biotech companies in all therapeutic areas. For more information, see: www.biovelocita.com