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PureTech Health plc ("PureTech", LSE: PRTC), a cross-disciplinary healthcare company developing medicines at the interface of the gut, brain and immune system, is pleased to note that Vedanta Biosciences, a PureTech business pioneering the development of a new class of therapies designed to modulate the human microbiome, has raised $50 million in new equity investments. New investors Rock Springs Capital, Health For Life Capital (Seventure) and Invesco Asset Management were joined by PureTech in the financing.
Daphne Zohar, CEO of PureTech said: "Vedanta is a leader in the microbiome-immune field and its platform enables activation and inhibition of the immune response using live bacteria, with applications in indications such as allergy and autoimmune disorders, infection and immuno-oncology. This successful fundraising will carry Vedanta through multiple clinical studies in a range of indications."
The full text of the announcement from Vedanta Biosciences is as follows:
Vedanta Biosciences Closes $50 Million Financing to Advance Microbiome Therapeutics
The funding will accelerate infectious and autoimmune disease programs to the clinic and support scale up of the company's technology platform
Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 6, 2016 - Vedanta Biosciences, pioneering the development of a new class of therapies designed to modulate the human microbiome, today announced that it has raised $50 million in new equity investments. New investors Rock Springs Capital, Invesco Asset Management and Health For Life Capital (Seventure) were joined by PureTech in the financing. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance multiple clinical studies in infectious and autoimmune diseases and to scale the company's technology platform.
"We are grateful for the strong support from venture and leading public healthcare investors who share our vision to take the microbiome field beyond faecal transplants and into rationally defined bacterial consortia," said Bernat Olle, Ph.D., CEO of Vedanta Biosciences. "This financing positions us to advance multiple candidates that have emerged from our discovery platform into clinical trials."
Vedanta Biosciences has built a proprietary platform for the discovery, development, and manufacturing of drugs based on live commensal microbes. Using its platform, Vedanta has isolated a vast collection of human-associated bacterial strains, characterised how the immune system recognises and responds to these microbes, and generated a pipeline of drug candidates consisting of defined bacterial consortia in development for infectious disease, immune tolerance, inflammation, and immuno-oncology. Vedanta's platform is built on pioneering work published in Science, Nature and Cell, among other peer-reviewed journals. The Company attracted the first large deal with a pharmaceutical company in the microbiome field in a landmark licensing agreement with Johnson & Johnson with up-front and milestone payments of up to $339 million. The Company recently expanded into a new headquarters and research and development facility in Cambridge, MA, including a state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility for fully integrated discovery and production of live bacterial drugs.
About Vedanta Biosciences
Vedanta Biosciences is pioneering a novel class of therapies designed to modulate pathways of interaction between the human microbiome and the host immune system. The first to rationally design a drug candidate based on consortia of human commensal bacteria, Vedanta has capabilities that enable discovery, development, and manufacturing of drugs based on live commensal microbes. Vedanta is advancing a pipeline of product candidates designed to treat autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases, which have been developed using Vedanta's proprietary technology platform.
Vedanta Biosciences was founded by PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) and a group of leading experts in immunology and microbiology. Vedanta's scientific co-founders have pioneered the fields of innate immunity, Th17 and regulatory T cell biology, and include Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov (Professor of Immunobiology at Yale), Dr. Alexander Rudensky (tri-institutional Professor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, the Rockefeller University and Cornell University), Dr. Dan Littman (Professor of Molecular Immunology at NYU), Dr. Brett Finlay (Professor at the University of British Columbia) and Dr. Kenya Honda (Professor, School of Medicine, Keio University). Vedanta's Board of Directors includes Board Chairman Christopher Viehbacher, Managing Partner at Gurnet Point Capital and former CEO and Member of the Board of Directors of Sanofi; Dr. Bennett Shapiro, former Executive Vice President of Merck; Dr. John LaMattina, former President of research and development at Pfizer and David Steinberg, Co-Founder of Vedanta and Executive Vice President at PureTech.
About PureTech Health
PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) is a cross-disciplinary healthcare company focused on areas of growing scientific and technical insights that it believes are at an important inflection point, including the central nervous, gastro-intestinal and immune systems, and the interactions and signalling between them. PureTech has approximately 20 clinical studies across its pipeline targeting multi-billion dollar market opportunities, including five human proof-of-concept studies and multiple pivotal or registration study readouts expected in the next two years. While inevitably some technologies will not advance to commercialisation, PureTech's approach preserves its options as most of the cash resides on a PureTech parent company level, allowing PureTech to build value and divert cash to its most successful programs as milestones are achieved. PureTech has over 220 patents and patent applications. PureTech's leading team and board, along with an advisory network of more than 60 expert founder-scientists and advisors across multiple disciplines, gives PureTech access to potentially ground-breaking science and technological innovation. With healthcare undergoing major transformation, PureTech believes it is well positioned to develop and launch medicines for the 21st century. For more information, visit www.puretechhealth.com and connect with us on Twitter.
Of the approximately $50 million raised in this financing, Invesco will contribute approximately $11 million for the purchase of an aggregate of 485,651 preferred shares. Invesco is a substantial shareholder of PureTech pursuant to the Listing Rules, and thus this transaction is a smaller related party transaction falling within the scope of Listing Rule 11.1.10R. As a result of PureTech's equity contribution of approximately $30 million, PureTech's percentage ownership of Vedanta will be 75.4% on a diluted basis1. Additionally, PureTech's ownership adjusted value in Vedanta will increase by approximately $37 million from the previously reported balance2. All contributions will be made in two equal tranches.
(1) This calculation of PureTech's holding includes issued and outstanding shares as well as options to purchase shares, but excludes unallocated shares authorised to be issued pursuant to equity incentive plans.
(2) Ownership adjusted value represents PureTech's interest in the equity value of Vedanta = (Business Enterprise Value - Debt + Cash) x PureTech's percentage ownership after additional equity contribution.
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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For further information, please contact:
Julie DiCarlo, Senior Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations
+1 617 456 0032
FTI Consulting (Communications adviser to PureTech)
Ben Atwell / Matthew Cole
+44 (0)20 3727 1000
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange