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Amplimmune Series A investor Interwest exits in potential $500m AstraZeneca deal

27 Aug 2013

laboratory 12_sqInterwest Partners-backed US cancer immunology business Amplimmune has been bought by global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in a deal which could reach $500m.

The sales marks what appears to be a strong exit for Interwest, which invested in the company alongside The Wellcome Trust through a $20m Series A financing round in 2007.

Amplimmune is working on clinical development of immune-mediated cancer therapy, which attempt to empower the body’s immune system to counteract the way cancer cells avoid detection and attack the body.

AstraZeneca has bought the business through its subsidiary Medimmune for an initial $225m, with a further $275m to be paid based on reaching predetermined development milestones.

Medimmune executive vice president Bahija Jallal said, “MedImmune’s focus on harnessing the power of the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer will be complemented by Amplimmune’s innovative work in this area.

“It will allow us to strengthen our arsenal of potential cancer therapies.”

Earlier this year a trio of venture capital firms including Interwest invested $18.7m into health-focused social network provider WellTok through a Series B financing round.

Emergence Capital Partners and New Enterprise Associates also became new investors in the business, which has previously been backed by Miramar Venture Partners and Okapi Venture Capital.

WellTok executive chairman Jeff Margolis was appointed CEO in conjunction with the financing.

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