caprotec bioanalytics Completes Series B Financing Round of EUR 4 Million
caprotec's CCMS technology was developed by Prof. Dr. Hubert Köster, founder and CEO of caprotec bioanalytics GmbH as well as founder of Biosyntech GmbH, the first biotechnology company in Germany, co-founder of US company Milligen/Biosearch and founder of Sequenom (NASDAQ: SQNM).
"CCMS is a broadly applicable technology to investigate small molecule protein interactions. It enables the isolation and identification of native functionally selected proteins directly from a complex biological sample," stated Prof. Köster.
Karlheinz Schmelig, Managing Director at Creathor Venture commented, "The completion of this investment round in a challenging financing environment demonstrates that caprotec, with its exceptional management and ground breaking new technology, stands out among other companies in this industry."
Ute Mercker, Prokuristin at IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft stated, "Having such committed management, employees and shareholders is and will be essential for caprotec's success story."
The analysis of complex protein mixtures plays a pivotal role in life sciences today, and protein biomarkers are important diagnostic tools. Therapeutic efficacy is based on the interaction of a drug with its target protein, and adverse side effects are the result of drug interactions with toxicity-causing proteins. "These are the areas in which CCMS will have a significant impact," stated Prof. Köster.
The company's CCMS has proven to be superior to widely used pull-down technologies such as affinity chromatography, affinity beads and immuno precipitation. The affinitybased interaction with the protein mixture is performed in solution, and the Capture Compounds form a covalent bond with the affinity-captured proteins so that even weakly-interacting proteins are not lost. This results in the isolation and identification of more functionally selected proteins from a significantly smaller biological sample size as has been demonstrated in several peer-reviewed publications in leading scientific journals. Moreover, the important class of membrane proteins, otherwise very difficult to analyze due to their low water-solubility and low abundance, are accessible with caprotec's CCMS technology.
The proceeds from this financing round will be used to further develop caproKitsTM as tools for the worldwide R&D community to identify functionally selected protein classes and the company's ImproMedTM ("improved medicines") application to profile drug-protein interactions, generating the information to structurally optimize the drug molecule for increasing efficacy and reducing adverse side effects. Overall CCMS can address one of the most daunting issues of the pharmaceutical industry: the high attrition rate, which results in the lengthy time and high cost of drug development.
About Creathor Venture
Creathor Venture invests in technology-oriented companies and entrepreneurs in the areas of life science, IT, telecommunication, media, materials, electronics, and clean tech. Creathor Venture's management team includes Dr. Gert Köhler, the founder of the former Technologieholding VC GmbH, as well as Ingo Franz and Karlheinz Schmelig. The team has been working in early-stage venture capital for more than 20 years. During that time, more than 200 technology companies were financed and over 20 IPOs and numerous trade sales completed. Successful portfolio companies within the life science sector are Accovion, ALRISE Biosystems, CEVEC, Phenex and Sirion.
About IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft
IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft (www.ibb-bet.de) provides equity financing to innovative Berlin-based companies. The firm is the regional market leader in venture capital in Berlin. IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft was founded in 1997 as a fully owned subsidiary of Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB). The funds provided are to be used for the development and launch of innovative products and services or creative business concepts. IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft manages the "VC Fonds Technologie Berlin" fund (€ 52m) and the "VC Fonds Kreativwirtschaft Berlin" fund (€ 30m). Both funds were started as joint initiatives of IBB and the State of Berlin. They are co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The track record of IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft includes successful IPOs and a large number of trade sales to strategic partners.
About KfW (ERP Startfonds)
KfW finances and supports, among other things, business start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) as well as investments in economic growth and employment projects in Germany. The ERP Start-up-Fund, administered and co-financed by KfW, offers equity financing for innovative, technology-based enterprises with excellent growth prospects. The fund finances research and product development as well as the launch of new products, procedures and services. KfW always cooperates with a lead investor and exclusively adopts market conditions. Since 2004, the 470 Mio. Euro ERP Start-up-Fund has so far allocated 300 Mio. Euro to emerging technologybased companies.
About caprotec bioanalytics GmbH
caprotec bioanalytics is headquartered in Berlin, Germany with a US subsidiary in Burlington, MA. The company focuses on the commercialization of its proprietary Capture Compound Mass Spectrometry (CCMS) technology. The core of the CCMS technology consists of small, trifunctional molecules called Capture Compounds(TM). They enable a targeted isolation of proteins directly from complex biological samples. After isolation the captured proteins are identified and characterized by mass spectrometry or gel electrophoresis and Western blotting. Providing a state-of-the-art platform for the isolation and analysis of proteins from complex mixtures, the CCMS technology has enormous potential in proteomics, drug development and the development of biomarkers. The technology is protected by a broad patent portfolio.