Addex Raises $40M in Europe

Pharmaceutical deals are getting big in Europe.

Take for example Geneva-based Addex Pharmaceuticals, which raised about $40 million in a Series B round, announced in late May.

Other European pharmaceutical venture capital deals of note lately include Austrian pharmaceutical research company Igeneon, which raised $34 million. Earlier this spring CareX, a Strasbourg, France-based biopharmaceutical company focused on metabolic disease, raised $32 million in Series B funding. And German drug developer DeveloGen raised $23 million in its third round of venture funding.

German-based Techno Venture Management (TVM), which also has an office in Boston, led the financing of Addex, alongside Bio One Capital, Fulcrum Pharma Development, Initiative Capital, PolyTechnos Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Sofinnova Partners and Renaissance Capital via its advisor Vinci Capital.

The company – which raised a $12 million Series A round of funding in 2002 – focuses on developing drugs to aid the central nervous system. Addex will use the Series B funding, which is an up round, to further develop its products.

Addex’s pipeline includes a smoking cessation compound, which is set to begin Phase II clinical trials soon, and a class of compounds to treat mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

Addex CEO Vincent Mutel says that being located in Switzerland gives his company an advantage in forming partnerships with large pharmaceutical companies. After all, his company is located in the same small country as pharmaceutical giants Novartis and Roche. And that proximity provides smaller companies like his with opportunities to forge partnerships.

Following the Series B, Mutel says his company now has enough money to last it through 2006.