Albireo, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, has secured one clinical and a number of pre-clinical GI programmes from AstraZeneca as well as several researchers with extensive experience in AstraZeneca’s GI Research Area.
The spinout is a result of AstraZeneca’s previously announced strategic decision to concentrate on Nexium® and internal GI research focused on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Albireo will be financed by a syndicate of growth capital firms, led by Nomura Phase4 Ventures, and joined by TVM Capital and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, all specialist investors in the healthcare markets.
The company has raised $27 million in its first closing and anticipates receiving up to $40m in a Series A financing round. AstraZeneca retains a significant minority equity interest as well as a seat on the Albireo board alongside representatives from TVM Capital and Nomura Phase4 Ventures.
“Albireo represents an exciting opportunity for AstraZeneca to deliver value for patients and our shareholders,” said John Goddard, Senior Vice President, AstraZeneca Strategic Planning and Business Development. “AstraZeneca is committed to creating innovative partnerships and deal structures that realize the full potential of our science. Nomura Phase4 Ventures and its syndicate are leading healthcare investors with proven success in growing biotechnology companies.”
Commenting on the financing, Dr Denise Pollard-Knight, Managing Director, Nomura Phase4 Ventures said, “Albireo represents a compelling investment story. We are all excited about the programmes being inherited from AstraZeneca and by the experience of the team in developing innovative drugs for GI disorders.”
“The financing will allow us to accelerate the development of a strong pipeline and build on the strength of the core team. I am looking forward to participating in Albireo’s future growth,” said David Chiswell, Albireo’s Executive Chairman.