Manchester, UK, 22 March 2006 – F2G Limited, the Manchester UK based antifungal drug discovery and development company, today announced the completion of a £5 million equity financing round with an international syndicate of existing investors and a new investor, Astellas Venture Management LLC (USA), venture capital arm of Astellas Pharma Inc.
F2G’s technologies focus on the development of new and innovative drug treatments for systemic fungal infections in man. This market is currently estimated at over five and a half billion dollars annually and is growing at approximately 20% per year. In addition, there is new evidence suggesting a correlation between fungal infections and allergic conditions (including asthma). If proven, this would add significantly to the growth of the total addressable market. F2G has developed unique capabilities in the field including proprietary genomic targets, target validation, drug discovery and drug development. They have also amassed unique expertise in the fields of clinical need and corporate and business development specific to the field.
The funding, led by BankInvest (Denmark), will allow F2G to accelerate the development of several lead compounds that are showing strong promise as potential antifungal drugs.
Mr Shane Kelly, CEO of F2G, said: “This financing is a strong validation of the outstanding work by the F2G team in the development of new classes of drugs to treat systemic fungal infections in man. We are very pleased with the continued commitment from our shareholders and the endorsement by Astellas Venture Management of our lead programs and the MycoBank® technology. The resources will allow the Company to push the development of some very interesting compounds into pre-clinical and clinical trials.”
Mr Jens Kindtler, Partner at BankInvest Biomedical Venture and Chairman of the F2G Board, commented: “F2G has carved a unique niche in antifungal research and development and has assembled an outstanding team of scientists to address the growing clinical need and market opportunities in antifungals. We are very excited about the future prospects of F2G and look forward to a productive collaboration with Astellas Venture Management on the further development and progress of F2G.”
Dr. Yoshitaka Yoneyama, President and CEO of Astellas Venture Management (AVM), commented: “AVM is excited to participate in this financing of F2G which has high quality functional genomics technology and product seeds in the antifungal area where our parent company, Astellas Pharma Inc., has a strong interest. We are a strategic investor and F2G’s strong technology base is a perfect match for Astellas.”
F2G specialises in the research and development of new treatments for serious fungal infections in man. The Company was founded in 1998 on its proprietary genomics technology (MycoBank®) that identifies essential gene targets in fungi. F2G is now advancing its own patented compounds and technologies which will lead to the development of novel agents to treat serious fungal disease. For more information visit www.f2g.com
Shane M. Kelly
Chief Executive Officer
Tel: (+44) 0161 785 1270
Fax: (+44) 0161 785 1273
BankInvest Biomedical Venture is a leading life science investor dedicated primarily to the drug development segment. The first BankInvest Biomedical Venture fund was established in 1998 and three other funds were raised in 1999, 2001 and 2005. EUR 410 million is under management. Currently, the portfolio consists of 34 portfolio companies at various levels of development, located in Scandinavia, Europe and the US. For more information about BankInvest Biomedical Venture, please visit www.biventure.com
About Astellas Venture Management LLC. (AVM)
Astellas Venture Management LLC. (Los Altos, CA, USA) is the corporate venture capital arm of Astellas Pharma Inc., a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, which was formed through the merger of Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. in April 2005. AVM’s investment objective is to find a venture company with a proprietary technology and facilitate its growth by utilising Astellas’ experience and network within the biotechnology field. AVM’s ability to offer not only investment funds, but also the Astellas Group’s powerful combination of scientific and technical expertise, depth of drug development and marketing knowledge and long-term business perspective, can give entrepreneurs and investors the very best chance for their rapid growth and success. For more information on Astellas, please visit the company’s website at www.astellas.com