Deal round-up 18/11/03

Apax leads £25m series C round; Quester launches top-up for VCT5; Nordic funds back T-cellic B-round; Atlas, Gilde back merger with $7.5m investment;

Apax leads £25m series C round


Lorantis, a UK-based immunology drug discovery and development company, has closed a £25m ($42m) series C private financing round led by funds advised by Apax Partners.


Apax Partners Funds were joined in this financing round by existing investors Abingworth Management, JP Morgan Partners, Quester Capital Management, Schroder Ventures, The Wellcome Trust and funds managed by Fleming Family and Partners.


The investment will enable the company to begin clinical development programmes on products for the treatment of immune diseases, such as allergy, arthritis and transplantation, as well as supporting new lines of research.


Quester launches top-up for VCT5


UK venture capital firm Quester has announced that it is seeking additional capital for Quester VCT 5, the firm’s fifth venture capital trust which closed on more than £22m in April 2003.


Quester VCT 5 is seeking to raise a further £2m to invest in unquoted companies with emphasis on information and communication technologies (ICT), healthcare and life sciences. Minimum investment is £3,000 and subscribers will be able to invest in both this tax year (2003/2004) and next tax year (2004/2005).


“There is no doubt that the financial and economic environment is beginning to feel more positive,” said John Spooner, director at Quester, in a statement. “The top-up issue for Quester VCT 5 gives private investors access to a market in which attractive investment opportunities are available, providing the potential for the achievement of good returns over the long term.”


Nordic funds back T-cellic B-round


Danish biotech company T-cellic has completed its second round of financing of E5.4m. Investors in the financing round include LD Pensions, Scandinavian Life Science Venture and the Danish Investment Fund.


The E5.4m round will enable T-cellic to accelerate research and development activities further. According to Elsebeth Budolfsen, managing director of T-cellic, the company is now provided with the necessary capital to proceed to clinical studies in 2005.


T-cellic was founded in year 2000 by Torsana and the major investors are Scandinavian Life Science Venture, LD Pensions, the Danish Growth Fund and Torsana.


Atlas, Gilde back merger with $7.5m investment


ASIP and ThreeFive Photonics, two developers of advanced, photonic integrated circuits, have announced the merger of the two companies. The combined company will be known as ASIP, with Netherlands-based ThreeFive Photonics operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of ASIP.


Simultaneous with the merger, ThreeFive's existing investors, Atlas Venture and Gilde IT Fund have made a combined $7.5m investment in ASIP. The new investment completes ASIP's previously announced series C round of financing, bringing the completed round to $23.5m. ASIP's total funding to date amounts to $31m.


Atlas Venture and Gilde IT Fund join existing ASIP investors Finaventures, Intel Capital, Multilink Technology Corp, Nokia Venture Partners, and Redpoint Ventures. The series C investments will fund ASIP's customer shipments, further the development of its manufacturing infrastructure and enable continued product innovation.