Symphogen A/S today announced the closing of a euro 33 million (approximately usd 44 million) financing. Existing investors participated in the round, which was led by Essex Woodlands Health Ventures. The financing will be used to mature the company’s product pipeline of antibody therapeutics, particularly within the field of oncology.
“This significant financial commitment from our current investors demonstrates their confidence in Symphogen’s innovative pipeline and antibody discovery and manufacturing technologies,” said Kirsten Drejer, CEO of Symphogen. “The current funding will support the advancement of our lead oncology program, Sym004, towards early clinical studies as Symphogen continues to build a competitive oncology franchise. Coinciding with our strategic decision to focus our internal R&D resources on further maturing our oncology pipeline, Symphogen also plans to broaden our external collaborative activities by engaging in partnership discussions for our anti-RSV and anti-RhD recombinant polyclonal antibody programs.”

Sunstone Capital portfolio company Action Pharma is happy to announce that Torben Jung Laursen has been appointed Executive Vice President of Business Development.
“Torben Jung Laursen is a very strong executive and brings top international expertise in business development to the executive management of Action Pharma,” says Søren Nielsen, CEO of Action Pharma. “The timing is optimal since Action Pharma has a relatively large pipeline in clinical and preclinical development, which is now ready for commercialization.”
Torben Jung Laursen comes from a position as Vice President for New Products and Technologies at Alpharma and has worked 20 years for companies such as Novo Nordisk and Roche.

The Novo Nordisk Prize was founded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and is awarded in the Foundation’s name and from the Foundation’s funds. The prize is awarded – without application – in recognition of unique medical research or other research contributions that are of benefit to medical science.
”With his impressive scientific results Søren Nielsen is placed in the international elite with a very comprehensive scientific production published in high impact research journals,” says Professor Jan Fahrenkrug, chairman of the Prize committee at the Novo Nordisk Foundation.“I am deeply honored and very proud of this prestigious award” says Søren Nielsen, CEO. “It gives major attention to our research achievements and to Action Pharma A/S which was founded in 2000 based on part of this research.”

The prize was awarded based on Søren Nielsen’s and his colleagues’ discoveries on the fundamental role of cell membrane water channels (aquaporins) in water balance regulation and that dysregulation of aquaporins play pivotal roles in water balance disorders including acquired and inherited kidney diseases, heart failure and brain edema.

Santaris Pharma and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, announced January 12th 2009 that the companies have entered into a worldwide strategic alliance to discover, develop and commercialize new medicines based on Santaris Pharma’s proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) drug platform.

Santaris Pharma will receive an upfront payment of $7 million in cash and Wyeth will make a $10 million equity investment in Santaris Pharma. Santaris Pharma may receive further milestone payments of up to $83 million for each of 10 potential targets. In addition, Santaris Pharma would receive royalties on the worldwide sales of all products arising from the alliance.

Sunstone Capital portfolio company Zealand Pharma A/S and Helsinn Healthcare SA today announced that it has signed a partnering agreement, for the development and worldwide commercialization of ZP1846, a GLP-2 (glucagon-like peptide-2) receptor agonist which provides a novel way to treat chemotherapy-induced diarrhea (CID), a debilitating condition affecting patients undergoing cancer treatment with a range of chemotherapies.