The following is an excerpt of CEVEC Pharmaceutical’s Series C financing announcement.
Cologne, Germany, 24 October 2012 – CEVEC Pharmaceuticals GmbH (CEVEC), the developer of a novel human expression system for the manufacturing of complex biopharmaceuticals and vaccines, announced today that it raised an additional amount of € 2.8 million in a Series C financing led by Peppermint VenturePartners (PVP) via the new Charité Biomedical Fund. Additional financing was provided by Midas Group and existing investors Creathor Venture and NRW.Bank. The funds will be used to advance proprietary product developments in the areas of therapeutic proteins and the novel vaccine business of CEVEC.
The company is developing a human cell expression system for biopharmaceuticals based on human amniocytes. This proprietary process — known as Amniocentesis — offers significant advantages over existing technologies, due to regulatory flexibility, production timetable and limited risk of contamination.
Human cell-based expression systems are important for the production of human therapeutic proteins, antibodies and related molecules. The CEVEC process is a clinical routine procedure performed during week 16 – 20 of gestation for prenatal diagnosis and ethically accepted and approved. The company uses amniotic fluid volumes not required for clinical diagnosis.
CEVEC is in early stage development for biopharmaceutical difficult-to-express proteins with what the company has identified as commercial attractive markets and well-established biological targets. The company’s molecules either address a significant unmet medical need or improve upon recombinant versions which do not meet therapeutic requirements.
The company’s lead molecule — recombinant human Alkaline Phosphatase — is being pushed through the preclinical phase to initial clinical PoC by a consortium of respected European developers. Mutations in ALPL gene have been linked directly to different forms of hypophosphatasia, characterized by poorly mineralized cartilage and bones.
CEVEC Pharmaceuticals is also developing additional difficult-to-express plasma proteins to address various hereditary and genetic disorders.
This financing marks the second major news development in 2012. In August, the company announced a a licensing agreement with CRO and GMP manufacturing organization Paragon Bioservices for use of CEVEC’s know-how and patents to develop stable cell lines for the contract manufacturing of recombinant proteins and antibodies.