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7 November 2017

Topas tops up series A

Topas has closed its series A round at nearly $21m, following a $4.6m extension that will be used to advance potential autoimmune disease therapies towards clinical trials.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Topas Therapeutics, a Germany-based biotechnology developer based on research at University of Hamburg, closed its series A round at $20.6m on Thursday following a $4.6m extension.

The additional capital was provided Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, the corporate venturing subsidiary of pharmaceutical firm Boehringer Ingelheim.

Epidarex Capital had led the initial €14m ($16m) series A tranche in March 2016, with participation from EMBL Ventures, the investment arm of research institute European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Gimv and drug discovery company Evotec.

Established in 2013 by commercialisation firm Bionamics, Topas Therapeutics is working on treatments for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. The platform creates an antigen-specific immune tolerance by activating the liver’s natural immunology capabilities.

The money will go towards clinical trials of a treatment for multiple sclerosis and a therapy for an unspecified orphan disease. Detlev Mennerich, investment manager at Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, will join the supervisory board.

Topas is based on research by Johannes Herkel, a professor at University of Hamburg’s teaching hospital University Medical Centre Hamburg – Eppendorf. The spinout became a part of Evotec in 2014 when the latter acquired Bionamics.

Timm Jessen, chief executive of Topas Therapeutics, said: “We are delighted to have the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) as a new investor and to welcome Detlev Mennerich to the Board.

“BIVF has a great track record of successfully investing in biotech companies as a strategic, long-term investor. Their investment in Topas is a strong validation of our approach and we greatly value their support.”

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