Mucosis raises € 3 million in first financing round
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Groningen, 10 September 2007. Dutch-based vaccine development company Mucosis BV today announced the successful completion of a € 3 million first round of financing. A consortium consisting of BioGeneration Ventures (lead investor), MedSciences Capital, and NV NOM, Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands, participated in this equity investment.
The new financing will enable Mucosis to advance its innovative vaccine development platform into the clinic. Extensive preclinical studies with a variety of viral, bacterial and parasitic antigens have already shown that Mucosis has the potential to meet urgent medical needs arising from the re-emergence of infectious diseases as a worldwide health threat.
While vaccination has proven to be extremely successful at providing protection against infections, there is a widely recognized need for more efficacious, user-friendly and cost-effective vaccines. The patented platform developed by Mucosis employs particles derived from Lactococcus lactis, a Gram-positive lactic acid bacterium with a long history of safe use in humans. These particles not only act as a versatile carrier for antigens of choice, but also strongly enhance a lasting immune response. Immune response enhancers, or adjuvant, are key to the efficacy of protective vaccines. In addition, they are crucial to the recent worldwide efforts to develop therapeutic vaccines against infectious diseases as well as cancer.
As an important added benefit, L. lactis-derived particles (dubbed Gram-positive Enhancer Matrices, or GEMs) loaded with antigens can be administered nasally or orally to induce a first line of immune defense via the mucosa, which is where most infections enter the body. Mucosal vaccination also offers a needle-free and, therefore, user-friendly mode of antigen delivery. Moreover, large-scale production of GEMs is straightforward and cost-effective.
Dr. Hans Hektor, CEO of Mucosis: “We are extremely pleased with the support of these professional investors. Next to financial input, they provide access to expertise which we regard as essential to the growth of our company. We now look forward to translating our promising preclinical results into clinical safety and efficacy.”
“The GEMs platform provides a strong, proprietary basis for much needed new and better vaccines, and we are excited by helping Mucosis address significant market opportunities,” added Dr. Willem Hazenberg, partner at BioGeneraton Ventures. Together with Otto Postma, senior investment manager at MedSciences Capital, Willem Hazenberg will join the Board of Supervisory Directors of Mucosis.
Mucosis is the first spin-off of the Biomade Technology Foundation in Groningen, the Netherlands.
Hans Hektor, Ph.D.
9747 AG Groningen
T: +31 50 3635246
|BioGeneration Ventures BV
Willem Hazenberg, Ph.D.
1411 DC Naarden
T: +31 35 6993012
About Biogeneration Ventures BV
BioGeneration Ventures invests in Dutch Life Sciences companies. The team of BioGeneration is specialized in the evaluation of new technologies and in management of start-up companies. BioGeneration Ventures was co-founded by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI), NWO, the holding of the University of Leiden, and ABN-AMRO Capital. BioGeneration closely cooperates with Forbion Capital Partners (www.forbion.com).
About MedSciences Capital
MedSciences Capital (www.medsciencescapital.com) is an Amsterdam-based group of venture capital funds investing in early-to mid-stage medical life sciences companies. The investment in Mucosis was made through MedSciences Seed Fund BV. MedSciences Capital is a part of Kempen & Co (www.kempen.nl), a Dutch merchant bank providing specialized financial services in a number of chosen fields, including the life sciences.
About NV NOM
NOM (www.nom.nl) provides risk-bearing capital and participates in companies in the Northern Netherlands. NOM also provides support with regard to investments, subsidies, location selection, and initiates projects that enhance the competitive strength of businesses in the region. To date, NOM has invested approximately € 100 million in more than 130 companies located or planning to locate in the provinces of Groningen, Friesland, or Drenthe. The NV NOM participates in Mucosis via its 100% subsidiary, Venture Capital Fund III. Contact: mr. A. H. Verheij, T: +31 50 521 44 33.
About Biomade Technology
Biomade Technology (www.biomade.nl) is a research institute focused on the development of fundamental knowledge towards problem-solving applications in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology and biomedicine. The research is carried out by Biomade’s own professional research staff, in close conjunction with commercial partners and universities, particularly the University of Groningen. The related patent portfolio is managed by Applied NanoSystems (ANS) BV, a subsidiary of the University of Groningen.