Ardana first o/subscribed

Ardana Bioscience has completed its first round of funding raising GBP13.3 million, which is almost one-third oversubscribed on the company’s original target, reflecting investor demand for the pharmaceutical company, said chief executive Simon Best. The funding round was led by Merlin Biosciences, which invested GBP4 million, and also featured funds from Ardana’s founding investor MVM. Joining them were Dutch bank ABN AMRO Capital, 3i, Mitsubishi Corporation and Green Highlander, LLC of the US. As part of the funding round, representatives from Merlin and ABN AMRO join the board of Ardana. MVM already is represented on the board.

Since Ardana was launched in July 2000, its total raised cash now amounts to GBP14.6 million. On founding the company, the managers and MVM provided GBP1.2 million of capital. MVM provided the first GBP2 million of the latest round.

Ardana will use its cash injection to further its research in the areas of male contraception, female sexual dysfunction, cervical ripening (for the induction of labour) and menstrual disorders (heavy or painful periods).

The funding will also help the company to develop in-licensing and co-marketing of reproductive health products. These specific areas will be chosen so they can be enhanced by Ardana’s proprietary technologies, development capabilities and marketing skills. This latest round of funds will also allow the company to establish various joint ventures and acquisitions, to grow the company’s core competencies and introduce new areas.

Commenting on the funding round, Sir Christopher Evans, founder and chairman of Merlin Biosciences, said: “The company has a very experienced and capable management team led by Simon Best and an exciting pipeline of reproductive health projects. This is certainly a bioscience company to watch in the near term.”

Ardana was created to commercialise research by the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Human Reproductive Sciences Unit (HRSU) in Edinburgh.