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13 April 2018

Enterprise boldly goes to $41m series B

IP Group has committed a total of $6.6m to a series A round for Enterprise Therapeutics, which had previously attracted capital from Touchstone Innovations.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

Enterprise Therapeutics, a UK-based respiratory diseases-focused biopharmaceutical spinout from University of Sussex, closed a £29m ($41m) series B round yesterday that featured commercialisation firm IP Group.

The round was co-led by Novartis Venture Fund, the corporate venturing arm of pharmaceutical firm Novartis, and venture capital firm Versant Ventures. It also featured Epidarex Capital and Forbion.

IP Group has committed a total of $6.6m to the round, which will be supplied in tranches and is subject to Enterprise Therapeutics achieving certain milestones. The firm has provided $3.5m to the initial tranche.

Founded in 2014, Enterprise Therapeutics is working on treatments for respiratory conditions caused by mucus obstruction, such as cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma.

The company’s drug candidates increase hydration and clearance of mucus, with additional compounds aiming to reduce the production of mucus. The series B funding will help Enterprise advance its pipeline of muco-regulatory treatments into the clinic.

Martin Gosling, professor of molecular pharmacology at Sussex, serves as chief scientific officer for the company, while Henry Danahay, an honorary senior research fellow at Sussex, is head of biology. Both Gosling and Danahay previously held positions with Novartis.

Enterprise Therapeutics became part of IP Group’s portfolio when the firm acquired its peer Touchstone Innovations last year.

Touchstone, then known as Imperial Innovations, co-led a $5m funding round for Enterprise Therapeutics in 2016 with Epidarex Capital.

Epidarex first invested $2.4m in series A funding in February 2015, before returning the following May to bring the round to $6.3m with the support of Touchstone.

David Morris, venture partner at Novartis Venture Fund, said: “Our focus is on finding solutions for unmet needs and clinical impact, an area where Enterprise Therapeutics is making excellent progress for respiratory disease patients.

“We believe this additional round of funding puts the company in a strong position as it continues to progress towards the clinic.”

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