DBV Technologies closes $25.5m financing round
7 Feb 2011
French company DBV Technologies, an emerging biotechnology
company, secured $25.5 million (€19,4 million) in a Series C financing
round in January.
The round was co-led by new investors InnoBio Fund (managed by CDC
Entreprises within FSI France Investment program) and Lundbeckfond
Shire plc and ALTO Invest joined the round together with existing
investors Sofinnova Partners and ALK Abello. Aelios Finance advised
DBV Technologies on this financing transaction. Total investment in
DBV Technologies also includes other investors: Apax Partners, Cap
Décisif, and Creagro.
DBVTechnologies is the only company in the world whose products
are designed to epicutaneously (via a skin patch) deliver allergens
for Epicutaneous Immunotherapy (EPIT) against food allergies such as
peanut and milk. Allergen-specific immunotherapy is the only
strategy that treats the underlying cause of an allergic disorder.
DBV's proprietary epicutaneous patch technology — VIASKIN —
involves maintaining an allergen on the intact skin of an allergic
subject for repeated and prolonged periods in order to obtain
clinical desensitization to the targeted allergen.
DBV Technologies is making its revolutionary treatment a
convenient therapy compatible with pharmaceutical standards. It is
worth noting that three new investors are specialized funds with
strong ties to leading global pharmaceutical companies; InnoBio is a
fund managed by CDC Entreprises and sponsored by the French state
sovereign fund FSI and leading pharmaceutical companies (Sanofi
Aventis, GSK, Roche, Novartis, Pfizer, Lilly, Ipsen, Takeda and
Boehringer-Ingelheim); Lundbeckfond Ventures is the Lundbeck
Foundation's life science investment entity under Lundbeckfond
Invest (owning 70% of the shares of Lundbeck A/S); Shire is a
leading global specialty biopharmaceutical company.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome our new investors-InnoBio,
Lundbeckfond Ventures, Shire plc and ALTO Invest-and we also are
very happy that Sofinnova and ALK have invested in us once again,"
said Pierre-Henri Benhamou, M.D., co-founder and CEO of DBV
"Since there are no known treatments for food
allergies, many children and their families live with the constant
fear of ingesting a life-threatening food. VIASKIN is designed to
trigger the desired immune response while avoiding the risk of a
systemic, life-threatening reaction. The Series C cash infusion will
enable us to move forward with this life-saving technology."
The company's board of directors has also elected George F.
Horner III as non-executive chairman.
"We are extremely proud to welcome George as non-executive
chairman of DBV Technologies," said Dr. Benhamou. "No doubt, his
four decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry-in sales,
marketing and business development roles, as well as chief executive
and general managerial roles in both the United States and
internationally-make him the perfect choice as non-executive
chairman in this next phase of DBV's evolution.
Previously, Mr. Horner served as CEO of Prestwick
Pharmaceuticals, where he led the company to FDA approval of
tetrabenazine (TBZ), the first drug approved in the United States to
treat Huntington's disease patients. He oversaw the company's
subsequent sale to Biovail and Ovation Pharmaceuticals in 2008.
Prior to Prestwick, he was president, CEO and a member of the
board of directors at Vicuron Pharmaceuticals, where he helped
transform the US$12 million privately funded anti-infective company
into an enterprise acquired by Pfizer in 2005 for $1.9 billion. Mr.
Horner also previously served as vice president of commercial
operations for Ligand Pharmaceuticals.
Prior to his role at Ligand, he spent 17 years at Abbott
Laboratories, where he held numerous executive, general management
and business development positions and served as general manager of
a number of the company's overseas regions, including Canada,
Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Southeast Asia. In addition to
DBV Technologies, Mr. Horner also is a director of Creabilis
Therapeutics, Durata Therapeutics and Omthera Pharmaceuticals.