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Biotech company ImaginAba seals oversubscribed Series A round

27 Mar 2012

Clinical-stage company ImaginAba has completed its Series A financing, led by life sciences investor Novartis Venture Funds.

The oversubscribed round also included French healthcare investment company Merieux Developpement, Zurich-based Nextech Invest, venture firm Cycad Group and existing seed investor Momentum Biosciences.

Novartis Venture Funds and Merieux Developpement will both appoint directors to the board as part of the deal.

“This is an important growth financing event for ImaginAb because it augments financial resources from our rapidly expanding pharma companion diagnostics program and strategic NCI funding, to enable us to accelerate the clinical development of our cancer and immunology imaging programs,” said Christian Behrenbruch, CEO of ImaginAb.

Founded in 2007 by UCLA Faculty, ImaginAb is a biotechnology company specialising in the development of engineered antibody fragments for diagnostic imaging and novel therapeutic applications. “ImaginAb’s strategy of harnessing the explosive growth in the antibody space to build an in vivo diagnostics program is best in class and has yielded product pipelines that will have major impact on the clinical management of cancer and autoimmune diseases,” said Campbell Murray, managing director of Novartis Venture Funds. “The company also has the potential to profoundly change the way companion diagnostics are used in drug development and patient

Merieux Developpement is the healthcare investment company of Institut Merieux, a French industrial holding company dedicated to biology, which currently employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. Institut Merieux has majority ownership of bioMerieux, Silliker, Transgene and ABL. Merieux Developpement is currently seeking to invest up to €70m as minority shareholder from 2010 to 2013 in the field of healthcare on a global basis.

Momentum Fund 1 is the seed stage investment fund managed by Momentum Biosciences and was formed in 2007 by a team of entrepreneurial professors from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), to support early stage companies seeking to commercialise discoveries from UCLA, Caltech and other research institutions in the greater Los Angeles area.

Novartis recently participated in a $43m financing for biopharma developer Celladon.

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