Fresh capital for innovative allergy prevention
"We are very pleased to get these experienced partners on board, says Dr. Marion Kauth, CEO and co-founder of Protectimmun. "This financing enables us to rapidly proceed with the pre-clinical testing and to prepare for clinical studies. In addition, we gain access to a well-organised network with important new contact opportunities that may facilitate further business development."
Nose drops for the prevention of hay fever and asthma
Based on pioneering research by Ruhr-University Bochum and Research Centre Borstel Protectimmun is developing a pharmaceutical composition that may offer long-lasting protection against the development of allergic airway diseases to children. Natural substances and bacteria from specific farm environments are the source material for the intended safe and easy-to-use prophylactic drug in the form of nose drops.
"Allergic diseases are increasing in many parts of the world and treatment options are so far quite limited. Therefore, Protectimmun addresses an unmet medical need and an attractive market. Protectimmun's technology opens up a realistic chance to prevent the onset of hay fever and allergic asthma, instead of only treating the symptoms", comments Dr. Mehran Rafigh, investment manager at HTGF. Wolfgang Lubert of EnjoyVenture adds: "In addition to the potential of the approach it was the strength and persistence the team has shown from the early stages, that convinced us. They consistently managed the IP situation and successfully identified the allergy-protective substances within a short time period. That is why we are confident that we opted for the right team."
The proof-of-concept in a validated animal model has already been achieved for the planned prophylactic drug. After pre-clinical testing has been finalized, the start of the first clinical study is envisaged for 2013.
About Protectimmun GmbH
Protectimmun GmbH is a biopharmaceutical company focused on research and development of drugs especially in the field of allergic and chronic inflammatory diseases. With our innovative developmental concept based on specific bacteria and natural substances from particular farm environments we transfer highly recognized scientific findings in the field of allergy prevention into pharmaceutical applications.
About ELS Fonds / EnjoyVenture
ELS Fonds is a regional investment fund that focuses on young technology-driven companies with a high growth potential in the Emscher-Lippe / Rhein-Ruhr area. The fund is managed by EnjoyVenture, an entrepreneur-led equity investment company for the seed and start-up financing of innovative technology firms. EnjoyVenture has particular expertise in the structuring of finance for spin-offs from groups and technological/scientific institutions. Active coaching, intensive network contacts and management assistance are part of how EnjoyVenture sees its role as industrial advisor and investor. The circle of EnjoyVenture's partners is characterised by long-term enterprise, financing and industrial expertise and the networks that go with it. Since its establishment in January 2000, EnjoyVenture has entered into 36 equity holdings. At present, EnjoyVenture manages three venture capital funds with a total volume of about 50 million euros.
About KfW - ERP Startfonds -
KfW finances and supports, among other things, business start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) as well as investments in economic growth and employment projects in Germany. The ERP Start-up-Fund, administered and co-financed by KfW, offers equity financing for innovative, technology-based enterprises with excellent growth prospects. The fund finances research and product development as well as the launching of new products, procedures and services. KfW always cooperates with a lead investor and exclusively adopts market conditions.
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in young, high-opportunity technological companies implementing promising research results in an entrepreneurial manner. The start-up companies are planned to lead their R&D projects to the production of a prototype or a "proof of concepts" or market launch by means of the seed financing of up to 500k EUR. The High-Tech Gründerfonds has a fund volume of around 272m EUR. Investors of the public-private partnership are the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, the KfW bank group as well as the six industrial groups BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss.