De Novo raises euro27.3 million

Investee Company – De Novo Pharmaceuticals Ltd (UK)

Investee Company Business Type – Computational drug design company

Type of Financing – Development

Equity Providers – Merlin Biosciences, Life Science Partners, FNI, Quester, Cambridge Gateway, Incyte Genomics, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Prelude Trust, Avlar BioVentures, Cambridge Research & Innovation Ltd, University of Cambridge, Catalyst Biomedica

Equity Leader (Individual) – Sue Foden, Merlin Biosciences

Debt Providers – N/A

Debt Type – N/A

Debt Leader (Individual) – N/A

Equity Amount – euro27.3 million

Total Deal Value – euro27.3 million

Other Advisors – KLegal, Weil Gotshal & Manges

Comments – De Novo Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge-based molecular design company, has secured a euro27.3 million second round of funding. Merlin Biosciences led the deal. New backers include Life Science Partners, FNI, Quester, Cambridge Gateway, Incyte Genomics and Roche. Existing investors who also participated in the round include Avlar BioVentures, Prelude Trust, Cambridge Research & Innovation Ltd, University of Cambridge and Catalyst Biomedica.

De Novo was founded in 1999 by Dr David Bailey and Dr Philip Dean. The company focuses on using its proprietary computational software for drug design as a means of creating novel, patentable lead molecules as candidates for drug development.

In April 2000 De Novo received £2 million start up financing aimed at capitalising on the work of Dr Philip Dean, becoming the first start up company to be spun out of the Department of Pharmacology at University of Cambridge. A year after its initial inception, De Novo has forged drug discovery partnerships with British Biotech, Aventis Pharmaceuticals and NV Organon.

Dr David Bailey, CEO of De Novo, said: “This fund raising will enable us to enhance our discovery operations. We are particularly pleased to be able to include both Roche and Incyte as industrial investors. We look forward to developing strategic relationships with these and other companies in the pharmaceutical discovery area.”