VCs float cancer specialist

A cancer therapeutics company backed by five European venture firms has listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange raising €30m with a valuation of around €95m. The offering, priced at NOK47, was twice oversubscribed.

Algeta is a cancer therapeutics company which is focused on the development of alpha particle emitters as radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer. Founded in 1997 as Anticancer Therapeutic Inventions by Dr. Roy H. Larsen and Professor Øyvind S. Bruland. The company changed its name to Algeta in 2003 following its first fundraising round the year before.

The business’ leading backer was HealthCap, which held a 23.7% stake before floatation, followed by Advent Venture Partners, which held a 16.9% interest. Fellow VC backers included SelvaagVenture Capital (12.3%), SR One (GlaxoSmithKline’s venture capital fund -10.4%), NorgesInvestor (8.9%) and Trinity Capital (1.4%).

Cancer drug sales generated US$37bin in 2004, growing at an estimated 16% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2009. Algeta is the first and only company with an alpha emitter in advanced clinical development in oncology. Alpha emitters kill cancer cells must more efficiently than beta emitters and with limited side effects.

Algeta has six products in development, three of which are in clinical phases with its leading product – the potential blockbuster Alpharadin – preparing for imminent start of phase III trials.

Thomas Ramdahl, Algeta’s President and CEO, said: “We are delighted that our IPO has been such a success. We strongly believe that novel therapeutics based on alpha emitters, including our lead product Alpharadin, have significant medical as well as commercial potential.”