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 Ventures.

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 Technologies.

"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.


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