Edmond De Rothschild Investment Partners sells protein therapeutics investment to Johnson & Johnson company

26 August 2014

Paris based Edmond De Rothschild Investment Partners (EdRIP) has announced that  one of its portfolio companies, Covagen A.G., has been acquired by Swiss company Cilag GmbH International, an affiliate of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Company, which is one of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.

Covagen is a privately-held, biopharmaceutical company specialising in the development of multispecific protein therapeutics through the FynomAb technology platform. The company's lead product, COVA322, a bispecific anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha/anti-interleukin (IL)-17A FynomAb is in Phase 1b clinical study for psoriasis and holds potential as a treatment for a broad range of inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.

Covagen develops FynomAbs, multi-specific protein therapeutics by fusing its fully human Fynomer binding proteins to antibodies. Fynomers are small binding proteins engineered to bind to target molecules with the same affinity and specificity as antibodies. The tailored architecture and novel mode of action of FynomAb therapeutics may offer enhanced efficacy in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and other indications.

Gilles Nobécourt, Partner at Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners said, "A few years back we decided to invest in Covagen based on the quality of the team and the versatility and flexibility of their Fynomer technology. Since then, impressive progress has been made and today we are very proud to see a highly respected partner taking over the development of the lead product and the FynomAb platform. After achieving a high investment multiple, we are looking forward to seeing them translate all this potential into next-generation products that can improve patient outcomes".

Covagen was the eighth investment of BioDiscovery 3, a specialized life science investment fund managed by EdRIP. Raised in 2008, the Fund has invested from 2008 to 2012 in a portfolio of 14 companies. So far five of these companies have been sold through private transactions and two have been listed on public financial markets.

The company has raised €450 million through its Biodiscovery franchise and is currently investing BioDiscovery 4. Since inception, BioDiscovery Funds have invested in 49 companies in total, of which 13 have been sold and 12 listed on public financial markets. 19 are still active in the portfolios.


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