Consortium invests $145m in specialty pharma

MPM Capital and LLR Partners have led a Series D financing round totaling $50 million in equity and $95 million in debt for acute-care company EKR Therapeutics.

A consortium led by life sciences investor MPM Capital and mid-market private equity firm LLR Partners have invested $145 million (€94 million) in specialty pharmaceutical company EKR Therapeutics, including $50 million in equity and $95 million in senior debt.

MPM and LLR were joined in the Series D round by prior investors Quaker BioVentures and the Garden State Life Sciences Venture Fund managed Quaker. Original institutional investors NewSpring Capital and ESP Equity Partners also participated. Debt financing was provided by GE Healthcare Financial Services.

“Since initiating operations less than two years ago, we have built a solid commercial organisation with several on-the-market products and our own sales force. We are well positioned to enter the next stage of growth and to realize our goal of becoming the pre-eminent provider of specialty acute-care products,” said EKR chief executive Howard Weisman in a statement.

In addition to pursuing organic growth, a portion of invested capital will be used to pursue acquisition targets for EKR’s product portfolio. EKR’s recent acquisitions have expanded the company’s 2008 revenue base by a multiple of 10, according to the company.

New Jersey-based EKR was established in late 2005. The company focusses on the acquisition, development and commercialisation of proprietary products to enhance patient quality-of-life in the acute setting.

Mid-market firm LLR is based in Philadelphia with $620 million under management. The firm closed its second fund on $360 million in April 2005 and is currently raising its third fund targeting $600 million, according to the Probitas 2008 Private Equity Deskbook.

MPM makes venture and equity investments in the life sciences field and has $2.5 billion under management. The San Francisco-based firm began investing its $550 million fourth fund in the second quarter of 2006.