The Nuclear Receptor specialist company invests additional money into its R&D programs in NASH (FXR) and in autoimmune diseases (RORgt)

Ludwigshafen, Germany, September 21th, 2010

“Although we were not in a need for fresh money we convinced our investors to contribute these additional funds which are earmarked to go into our very promising new research program in autoimmune diseases“
– Thomas Hoffmann –
CFO of Phenex

Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG, a drug discovery and development company headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany, today announced the closure of its Series C financing round with a volume of 6 M € (7,8 M USD) bringing the total amount of funds raised to 17,2 M € (22,4 M USD).

„Although we were not in a need for fresh money we convinced our investors to contribute these additional funds which are earmarked to go into our very promising new research program in autoimmune diseases“, explains Thomas Hoffmann, CFO of Phenex. „Another part of the 6 M € will be invested into our ongoing FXR program where we plan to take our compound Px-102 up to a Phase IIa proof of concept clinical study. Thus we have two full-fledged R&D programs in two major disease areas which we plan to bring up to a high value stage before outlicensing.“

Dr. Claus Kremoser, CEO, complements: „ We have been quite successful in our novel RORgt project. RORgt is a nuclear receptor which was recently discovered to be critically involved in the development of so-called TH17 cells. TH17 cells are the „bad guys“ in the development of autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Psoriasis and many others. Phenex is the first company worldwide to have discovered inhibitors for RORgt which show high effectivity in ablating the pro-inflammatory TH17 response. This opens a new avenue towards the development of small molecule therapeutics for this entire class of diseases with the perspective of reduced side effects. Even at this early stage we received very attractive offers for research collaborations from major pharma companies. This has excited our investors and us to broaden our R&D efforts in this promising area.“

Dr. Mathias Boehringer, member of Phenex´ Supervisory Board confirms: „What we have observed is that Phenex has picked up novel research ideas such as FXR agonists for metabolic and liver diseases or RORgt inhibitors for autoimmune diseases and has been amongst the first companies worldwide to turn these ideas into concrete compound development programs with very good preclinical results. The FXR project will go into Phase I in the course of the next 6 months. We, as  private investors from the Boehringer family, are glad to invest into this company which is a nearly perfect and commercially very promising showcase for an effective approach in Translational Medicine.“

Dr. Farsin Yadegardjam, Partner at EVP Capital Management and Chairman of Phenex´ Supervisory Board says: „ We have been the first to invest into Phenex and we saw a very exciting development in the course of the last five years. The fact that all existing investors and some selected new private individuals participated in this new funding round demonstrates that we are all convinced by the medical and commercial opportunities in Phenex R&D programs. It also demonstrates the quality of the Phenex management which used our money very effectively to come up with such high quality projects.“

Contact

Waldhofer Str. 104
69123 Heidelberg
Germany
Phone: +49 6221 65282-0
Fax: +49 6221 65282-10
Dr. Claus Kremoser
Thomas Hoffmann
mailto: info@phenex-pharma.com

About Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG

Phenex is a privately held drug discovery and development company headquartered in Heidelberg. The biopharmaceutical company can now build on nineteen years of expertise in exploring and defining innovative, potent and selective new drug candidates from small molecules. Phenex´s R&D activities are centered around diseases of liver such as NASH and cancer.