Epirus Closes $36 Million Series B Financing
BOSTON, April 16, 2014-- Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Epirus), a Boston-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the global development and commercialization of biosimilar monoclonal antibodies, today announced that it has closed a $36 million Series B financing round led by Livzon Mabpharm, Inc. Other investors participating in this round include Adage Capital, Greenwoods Investment, Gibralt US, Inc., Monashee Capital Partners LP, and an investment affiliate of Mousse Partners, as well as existing investors TPG Biotech®, Montreux Equity Partners and 5AM Ventures. In conjunction with the financing, Daotian Fu, Ph.D., CEO of Livzon Mabpharm, Inc., joined the Epirus board of directors. Leerink Partners LLC acted as a placement agent for the transaction.
Proceeds will support the commercialization and further clinical development of the Epirus product BOW015, a biosimilar to Remicade®. The company plans to initiate an additional Phase 3 clinical trial for BOW015 in Europe in early 2015. The proceeds will also support the company’s ongoing development activities for its pipeline, which includes BOW050 (biosimilar to Humira®) and BOW030 (biosimilar to Avastin®).
“The strong interest in our company from new and existing investors provides further validation of our promising pipeline of biosimilars, and serves as a testament to the strength of our business strategy,” said Amit Munshi, president and CEO of Epirus. “The additional funds will allow us to accelerate our pipeline development, strengthen our global partnerships and build our commercial infrastructure.”
Daotian Fu, Ph.D., CEO of Livzon Mabpharm, Inc., said, “Epirus’ robust pipeline, business strategy and experienced management coupled with the global market potential of biosimilars, made this an attractive investment for Livzon. We are excited to be partners with Epirus in improving patient access to important and much needed medications.”
BOW015 is a biosimilar version of infliximab, a biologic therapy marketed under the name REMICADE®. EPIRUS has previously reported positive Phase 1 and Phase 3 clinical data for BOW015. The Phase 3 trial met its predefined endpoint and demonstrated the comparability of BOW015 to REMICADE®, as measured by ACR20 response in severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The study also showed no meaningful differences between BOW015 and REMICADE® with regard to safety or immunogenicity.
Epirus is actively progressing applications for marketing approval for BOW015 in targeted global markets. Epirus also plans to initiate an additional Phase 3 trial in Europe in early 2015.
Epirus is building a global biosimilar enterprise to improve patient access to important medicines. The Company’s strategy for commercial success relies on targeted approaches for diverse global markets.
For emerging markets with accessible regulatory frameworks for biosimilars, Epirus develops partnerships with local companies to accelerate regulatory approval and commercialize its products.
For high-growth global markets where local manufacturing confers strategic and operational advantages, Epirus intends to use its SCALE™ platform to deliver an “In Market, For Market™” manufacturing solution with local partners.
For large markets with an established biosimilar regulatory framework, such as Europe, Epirus plans to commercialize its products using a combination of direct sales and local distributors.
More information about Epirus can be found at www.epirusbiopharma.com
About Livzon Mabpharm, Inc.
Founded in 2010, Livzon Mabpharm, Inc. is one of the first biotechnology companies to enter biologics research and development in China. It is mainly focused on development, manufacturing and sale of antibody-based drugs. It is equipped with a world-class technical and scientific research team, core technology platforms, and advanced R&D facilities. The company’s controlling shareholder is Livzon Pharmaceutical Group, Inc. (“Livzon”, a pharmaceutical listed company in Mainland China and in Hong Kong (Stock code:000513.SZ, 01513.HK)), which holds 51% shares of Livzon Mabpharm, Inc.. Livzon is a diversified pharmaceutical enterprise integrating development & research, production and sales of pharmaceutical products, operating to manufacture drug products, bulk medicines and intermediates, as well as diagnostic reagents and equipment. Livzon Mabpharm, Inc was founded as the strategic R&D transformation of Livzon Pharmaceutical Groups, focusing on development of antibody based drugs and vaccines. More information about Livzon can be found at www.livzon.com.cn.
REMICADE® is a registered trademark of Johnson and Johnson (www.jnj.com)
HUMIRA® is a registered trademark of AbbVie (www.abbvie.com)
Avastin® is a registered trademark of Genentech (www.gene.com)
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