Japanese investors co-lead European biotech firm Promethera’s $44m Series D

Laboratory equipment. Photo: Pixabay

Belgium-headquartered biotech company Promethera Biosciences has announced the closing of a €39.7 million ($44 million) Series D financing round co-led by new Japanese investors ITOCHU Corporation and Shinsei Capital Partners.

Other investors that joined the round include Japan’s Medipal Holdings Corporation and Ci:z Investment LLP, Korea’s Mirae Asset Capital and Korea Investment Partners, Luxembourg’s Six Snow family office and Belgian private investors, it said in a statement.

The company’s existing investor Mitsui & Co. Global Investment, Inc. (MGI) also participated in the financing.

Promethera Biosciences describes itself as a global innovator in liver therapeutics that aims to bring patients life-saving treatments to reduce the need for liver transplantation. It develops a patented cell technology platform HepaStem, which consists of liver stem cells that are obtained from ethically donated healthy human livers and expanded under cGMP conditions in production.

The company said proceeds from the financing will accelerate the company’s ongoing HepaStem clinical program in ACLF (acute-on-chronic liver failure) and the launch of the company’s first clinical trial in NASH (Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), a condition that causes inflammation and accumulation of fat and scar tissue in the liver.

In addition, the funding will be used for its manufacturing scale-up, preclinical programs and overall operations of the company and the group.

“The financial support of our new and existing investors, with their expertise in cell therapies and wide Asian and global networks, will greatly help us as we efficiently advance the world’s first cell-based treatment for ACLF and NASH through clinical trials,” said Promethera president and CEO John Tchelingerian.

The new investment comes five years after its last financing round, in which Promethera raised €25.33 million from a number of investors including SFPI-FPIM, the Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company, and SMS Investments, a Luxemburg-based subsidiary of the German SMS group.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.