Entrepreneurs Fund’s EF Investments and Bayern Kapital contributed to a round that increased Würzburg-founded traumatic brain injury drug developer Vasopharm’s total to above $57.8m.
Vasopharm, a Germany-based biopharmaceutical spinout of University of Würzburg Medical School focused on traumatic brain injury (TBI), on Thursday closed a €9.5m ($10.7m) round co-led by investment firm Heidelberg Capital Private Equity.
Entrepreneurs Fund’s EF Investments co-led the round, with participation from Bavarian state-owned investment firm Bayern Kapital, Hessen state-backed venture fund Future Capital, Ringtons Holdings, Creathor Ventures and unspecified funds managed by Hanseatic Asset Management.
Founded in 1998, Vasopharm is focused on phase 3-stage clinical development of a drug for moderately-to-severe closed-head TBI called Ronopterin.
Ronopterin is intended to treat long-term physical and cognitive defects resulting from TBI, and Vasopharm claims the drug would cause less unwanted side-effects than existing medications.
Vasopharm was co-founded by Harald Schmidt, then professor of pharmacology and toxicology at University of Würzburg, and Ulrich Walter, then professor of clinical biochemistry and pathobiochemistry. Schmidt and Walter currently work at University of Maastricht and Technical University of Munich respectively.
Recruitment for Ronopterin’s phase 3 trial will begin in the third quarter of this year. Vasopharm will use the capital to evaluate the drug’s stability and to conduct chemistry, manufacturing and control activities.
The company hopes to secure marketing authorisation from EU regulator European Medicines Agency, and will also look to identify additional indications for the drug. Christian Leikert, partner at Creathor Ventures, has joined the board of directors.
The round increased Vasopharm’s lifetime funding to at least $57.8m, according to press releases, though details of its series A round could not be confirmed.
The spinout last raised $21.7m in a January 2016 round co-led by Entrepreneurs Fund, Heidelberg Capital and Fort Rock Capital that was backed by Bayern Kapital and unnamed funds advised by Hanseatic Asset Management.
Heidelberg and Entrepreneurs Fund also co-led Vasopharm’s $6.5m series F round closed in 2013 with contributions from Hanseatic and Vasopharm chairman Andrew Clark, as part of a transaction that enabled an unnamed founding investor to exit.
Vasopharm had already closed a $7.1m series D featuring undisclosed investors in 2008, after completing a $11.8m series B two years earlier led by EMBL Ventures, the investment arm of research institute European Molecular Biology Laboratory, and backed by government-owned development bank KfW, Bayern Kapital, Landshut, Future Capital, Entrepreneurs Fund, 3i Group Investments and multiple unnamed private investors.