Promethera Executes on Asian Expansion Strategy by Attracting Leading Institutional
and Strategic Investors from Japan and South Korea
Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, October 28, 2016 – Promethera Biosciences SA, a world-leading cell therapy and regenerative medicine company targeting liver diseases, today announced that it raised EUR 10 million (USD 11 million) in a Series C-extension financing. All major existing shareholders including Vesalius Biocapital, SRIW, Fund+, MGI Global Fund (Mitsui & Co), Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and SMS Investments supported this round. New investors joining the financing round were Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd. and Cell Innovation Partners, L.P. (CIP) from Japan and LifeLiver Co., Ltd. from South Korea. The proceeds will be used to expand Promethera’s product development focus to include larger liver disease indications such as acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), nonalcoholic steatohepatits (NASH) and Fibrosis and to accelerate these developments towards the clinic.
“Today’s financing is an important achievement in our transformation, initiated in 2015, to become a global leader in liver cell therapy. It also underscores the enthusiasm of both our existing syndicate and new investors for the compelling business opportunities the company has to offer across the inherited and acquired liver disease indications,” commented Dr. John Tchelingerian, PhD, CEO of Promethera Biosciences SA. “We are particularly pleased to have gained additional investors and new shareholders from Asia, where liver diseases represent a huge burden for the healthcare system. The commitment of our new investors Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, CIP and LifeLiver also provides us beyond the financial need with the infrastructure and strategic support to effectively expand our business in these major Asian markets that are today leading the next generation stem cell revolution and related breakthrough cell therapies.”
“With the introduction of a Westernized lifestyle and a higher frequency of obesity in the Asia-Pacific region, the prevalence of liver disease has been increasing over the past two decades. This represents a significant market need and we are very pleased to invest in Promethera as a company that is already well positioned to benefit from this opportunity in the Asian and global markets,” said Mr. Muneki Handa, President Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd.
“At LifeLiver we are committed to develop technologies that blend tissue engineering and stem cell approaches,” said Mr. Ha Young Kim, CEO at LifeLiver. “While we are advancing our own bio-artificial liver system as a medical device solution for patients with acute liver failure or hepatic disease towards commercialization, we are delighted to have the opportunity to invest in Promethera’s potentially complementary and next-generation stem cell approach.”
All three new investors joining through the latest financing round are located in Asia, mainly in Tokyo (Japan) and Seoul (South Korea) areas. In total, 13% of Promethera’s shares will be held by its new and existing Asian investors as a result of today’s deal.
Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan’s largest bank, invests in healthcare, electronics, and high technology investments through its venture capital arm Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd. Cell Innovation Partners, L.P. a joint initiative between Reprocell Inc. (Japan) and Shinsei Bank Group (Japan), was launched in 2014 with the aim of becoming a strategic investor in regenerative medicine and creating next-generation stem cell therapy businesses. LifeLiver Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of HLB Co. Ltd. (South Korea), develops a new generation bio-artificial liver (the BAL system) as a medical device for patients with acute liver failure. The company is based in the Seoul area in South Korea.