KBC and SR One lead €40m Ablynx financing

KBC Private Equity, a Belgian private equity firm, has made its second investment in a Belgian biotechnology firm this week by leading a €40m Series financing for Ablynx, which develops protein products for serious diseases including Alzheimer’s.

KBC Private Equity, the private equity arm of Belgium’s KBC Group, and SR One, the venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline, have joined a syndicate investing €40 million ($51 million) in the Series C financing of Ablynx, a Belgian biotechnology business.
 
Abingworth Management, Alta Partners, Biotech Fund Flanders, Gilde Healthcare Partners, GIMV and Sofinnova Partners also invested in the third round financing, which brings the total capital raised by Ablynx since its inception in 2002 to €70 million. VIB, a Belgian biotechnology research institution also invested an undisclosed amount.
 
Biotech Fund Flanders, Gilde, GIMV and Sofinnova invested €5 million in first round financing in 2003, before being joined by Abingworth Management and Alta Partners in a €25 million Series B investment round in April 2004.
 
Based in Ghent, Belgium, Ablynx develops therapeutic protein products for a range of serious and life-threatening diseases, including inflammation, thrombosis, oncology and Alzheimer’s disease. The company has partnerships with several pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis, Centocor, Kirin Breweries and P&G Pharma.
 
Ablynx said that that latest round of funding will enable the business to fund operations to at least mid-2008.
 
Earlier this week, GIMV and KBC Private Equity invested €8.5 million in a Series A financing for Peakadilly, a Belgian biotechnology firm developing focused on biomolecular diagnostics and drug discovery and development. Life Science Partners, a Dutch venture capital firm, and Baekeland Fonds II, the venture capital fund of the Ghent University Association, also participated in the financing. As with Ablynx, Peakadilly was founded at VIB.