Noema Pharma raises CHF54 million in Series A financing round led by Sofinnova Partners and Polaris Partners
In-licensing of four clinical-stage product candidates to treat orphan neurological disorders
Highly experienced team leverages latest scientific discoveries in neuroscience
Financing will advance the development of four clinical-stage product candidates
Strong participation from international syndicate of investors, including Gilde Healthcare, Invus and BioMed Partners
Sofinnova Partners seed-financed Noema in 2019
Dec. 1, 2020, Basel, Switzerland – Noema Pharma (‘Noema”) AG, a Swiss clinical-stage company targeting orphan neurological disorders, today announced it has successfully concluded an oversubscribed Series A financing round, raising CHF54 million ($59 million USD) to fund further development of its promising clinical-stage pipeline. The round was co-led by Sofinnova Partners, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm based in Paris, London and Milan, and Polaris Partners, a healthcare and technology investment firm based in the United States. The global consortium of new international investors includes Gilde Healthcare, Invus and BioMed Partners. Roche, the Swiss multinational healthcare company, received a shareholding in Noema in exchange for rights to four clinical-stage product-candidates.
Darren Carroll of Polaris Partners and Arthur Franken of Gilde Healthcare join Antoine Papiernik of Sofinnova Partners on the Company’s Board of Directors.
A 2019 seed investment from Sofinnova Partners formed Noema. From the outset, Noema has been leveraging the latest scientific discoveries in neuroscience to identify and pursue promising new indications, and to elaborate a strategy around the four product candidates it licensed from Roche.
Luigi Costa, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The successful licensing of these exciting clinical-stage product-candidates from Roche, together with our up-sized CHF54 million Series A financing, will enable Noema to reach value-creating development milestones with all four products. We are honored to have garnered continued support from our seed investor, Sofinnova Partners, and to have attracted Polaris Partners as a co-lead investor. We are equally pleased to welcome highly experienced specialist investors Gilde Healthcare, Invus and BioMed Partners. We are now in a solid position to continue advancing these potentially life-changing therapeutics for patients who have no satisfactory treatment options.”
The product candidates will be developed in neurological indications with severe unmet need, such as seizures in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), trigeminal neuralgia, Tourette syndrome and other rare neurological disorders.
George Garibaldi, MD, Chief Medical Officer, said: “The strong clinical and preclinical safety packages generated at Roche will enable us to swiftly pursue a series of clinical programs in orphan CNS indications. Our analyses, based on new scientific evidence, have led us to indications upon which we have been building new intellectual property and efficient development and regulatory strategies. Across all our clinical initiatives, we focus on partnering with patients and patient associations to gather their input on what matters to them.”
Mr. Papiernik, Chairman and Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners, said: “Noema’s successful Series A financing substantiates our early conviction in the tremendous potential of this team and the work they have done thus far to bring groundbreaking therapies to patients with debilitating neurological disorders. Luigi, George and John Kemp, Noema’s Chief Scientific Officer, have been instrumental in laying the foundations of this company and now, bolstered by this significant investment, they are in a strong position to further progress Noema’s promising product candidates into the clinic.”
Mr. Carroll, Partner at Polaris Partners, said: “Noema is a prime example of the exceptional pharma-grade assets Europe has to offer, along with a flourishing talent pool. We are delighted to co-lead this round of global investors and look forward to working with Noema to make this a global success.”
LifeSci Advisors acted as investor relations advisor to Noema.
About Noema Pharma
Noema Pharma (www.noemapharma.com) is a Swiss-based company targeting orphan neurological disorders characterized by imbalanced neuronal networks. The company is developing four mid-clinical-stage therapeutic products in-licensed from Roche and with strong safety packages. Lead product NOE-101, an mGluR5 inhibitor, is Phase 2b-ready for two indications: persistent seizures in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) and severe pain in Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN). NOE-105, a PDE10A inhibitor, is in preparation for Phase 2b testing to treat Tourette Syndrome. The Company is undertaking validation studies in undisclosed indications for two additional clinical-stage assets, NOE-109, an mGluR2/3 inhibitor, and NOE-115, a triple re-uptake inhibitor. Noema Pharma was founded with the leading venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners. Investors include Polaris Partners, Gilde Healthcare, Invus and Biomed Partners.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners (www.sofinnovapartners.com) is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, London and Milan, the firm brings together a team of over 40 professionals from all over Europe, the U.S. and Asia. The firm focuses on paradigm-shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners invests across the Life Sciences value chain as a lead or cornerstone investor, from very early-stage opportunities to late-stage/public companies. It has backed 500 companies over 48 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2 billion under management.
About Polaris Partners
Polaris Partners (www.polarispartners.com) has a 20-plus-year history of partnering with repeat entrepreneurs and world-class innovators who are improving the way we live and work. The multibillion-dollar firm manages specialty and diversified funds in healthcare and technology with investments across all stages. Polaris has offices in Boston, San Francisco, and New York.
About Gilde Healthcare
Gilde Healthcare (www.gildehealthcare.com) is a specialized healthcare investor managing over €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) across two fund strategies: venture & growth capital and private equity. Gilde Healthcare's venture & growth capital fund invests in fast growing companies active in therapeutics, medtech and digital health. The venture & growth companies are based in Europe and North America. Gilde Healthcare's private equity fund invests in profitable European lower mid-market healthcare companies with a focus on the Benelux and DACH region.
Invus (www.invus.com) is a global investment firm with principal offices in New York, Paris and Hong Kong whose source of capital since its founding in 1985 has been a European family group. The exceptional returns from Invus’ evergreen investment strategy have allowed a modest initial pool of capital to grow to over $8 billion even after having distributed billions to shareholders. Invus doesn’t raise any outside funds and focuses all its energy on value creation. On the private side, Invus mostly takes majority control positions in companies that have ambitious transformational strategies but also makes minority investments in high-growth companies where it can add real strategic value through its partnership with owner-managers. On the public side, Invus takes significant long-only, long-term positions in companies whose fundamentals and management it believes in. The average holding period in the public equity portfolio is not measured in weeks or months but years.
About BioMed Partners
BioMed Partners (www.biomedvc.com), based in Basel, Switzerland is an independent venture capital firm that has established itself as a leading investor in early-stage biotech companies in Europe. In its third fund, raised in 2018, BioMed Partners focuses on the build-up of companies with highly innovative assets and technology platforms as well as on strong, entrepreneurial teams. The first investment of BioMedInvest III was in the Swiss immuno-oncology company Amal SA (Geneva) in 2017, which was subsequently acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim in June 2019.