10 April, 2008 – Myconostica Ltd Closes Oversubscribed $7.7 Million Round and Establishes US Headquarters in Charlest
Myconostica Ltd, a Manchester UK-based medical diagnostic company specializing in rapid and highly specific tests for life-threatening fungal infections, today announces that it has closed an $7.7 million (£3.9M) oversubscribed round of financing from a number of leading international private equity investors. The new funds will be used to launch the companyâs first two products and establish new US headquarters in Charleston, SC.
Over 10 million people are at risk of invasive fungal infections in Europe and
North America each year. This number is increasing rapidly with the large
growth in patients whose treatments involves transplants and/or the use of
immuno-suppressive drugs, leaving them susceptible to fungal infection. Current
diagnostic methods are too slow and non-specific for optimal patient care.
Myconostica which was formed in 2006 as a spin out from the University of
Manchester, is developing and commercializing tests based on highly specific genetic "signaturesâ€™ unique to each disease and allow faster and much more
precise diagnosis. These "molecular diagnostics" are simple and can detect
multiple fungi in a single process.
The completion of the series C financing was led by Nexus Medical Partners (Boston and Charleston) and also featured Innoven Partenaires (France), the principal international investors joining existing investor Amphion Innovations (AIM: AMP-L) in the round. This second close brings the total raised, in the current Series C financing, to approximately $8.6 Million(£4.4 M).
The capital raised in this round of financing will support the launch of
Myconosticaâ€™s first two products. The first product is the worldâ€™s first real-time molecular diagnostic simultaneously testing for both Aspergillus and Pneumocystis. The second product is a fungal DNA extraction system. The diagnostic product, announced at the Trends in Medical Mycology meeting in Turin in October 2007, is CE marked, which enables sales in Europe and several other territories. The investment will also allow development of further diagnostic tests in the FXG series targeting other critical fungal infections. Myconostica will be applying to the FDA for regulatory approval to launch the products in the US market.
Following the latest fund raising, Myconostica are also pleased to announce the opening of its US headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina. The new office, Myconosticaâ€™s first outside of the UK, will be the focus for North American operations and was chosen after careful review of alternative locations. South Carolina has a growing cluster of medtech and biotech industry.
Gregory Zaic, Nexusâ€™s senior partner in charge of Nexusâ€™s Charleston office, introduced the company to key clinicians at MUSC, thanks to suggestions by MUSCâ€™s president, Dr. Ray Greenberg. The company is establishing clinical cooperation with members of the MUSC faculty. The location of Myconosticaâ€™s US office is being facilitated by the City Of Charlestonâ€™s Life Science Initiative (of which Nexus is a supporter). Nexus is one of the four venture capital firms to receive state sponsored funding under the South Carolina Venture Capital Investment Act.
â€¢ Dr. Edwin Snape to their Board. Dr. Snape is co-founder and head of thehealthcare practice at Nexus Medical Partners (Boston and Charleston) and has been involved in venture investing for the past 30 years. He brings further valuable commercial and diagnostics sector expertise to the company.
â€¢ Spencer Kerry as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Kerry, a Cambridge law graduate who qualified as an accountant with Deloitte and TouchÃ©, has over ten years experience in various senior corporate financial roles most recently as Business Controller at Edinburgh based biotech company Ardana PLC.
Dr. Snape indicated "I am pleased to accept the Board position at Myconostica. The company represents an excellent example of Nexus bringing into South Carolina an exciting, knowledge-based company. In addition, the $2 million invested by Nexus through its fund, was supplemented by three times that amount of capital via coinvestors."
Professor David Denning, founder of Myconostica, and a world leading authority
on fungal disease at the University Hospital of South Manchester, said, "I am
very pleased with the exceptional level and quality of international response to
this financing opportunity as it allows us to continue the exceptionally rapid
progress in the development of our company and our current and future
products. The medical need for these products is clear and growing."
Jerel Whittingham, Chief Executive Officer of Myconostica commented, "At such
a difficult time in financial markets, Myconosticaâ€™s success in this oversubscribed
fund-raising is a tremendous endorsement of our commercial prospects and we
will only succeed commercially by making a real difference medically. "
Source: UMIP Press release