May 17, 2020

Milestone Pharma has completed its $55 million Series C round

Catherine Sturman
4 min
Headquartered in Canada, Pharmaceutical company Milestone Pharma has completed its $55 million Series C financing. The clinical stage drug development c...

Headquartered in Canada, Pharmaceutical company Milestone Pharma has completed its $55 million Series C financing. The clinical stage drug development company has focused on developing etripamil, which can be administered to terminate paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) episodes in patients when necessary. The condition affects over 1.5 million people, and amounts to over 600,000 healthcare claims in the US each year.

The round has been led by Novo Holdings A/S and included new investors, Forbion Capital Partners, and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management. The company also received participation from existing investors Domain Associates, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, BDC Capital, Pappas Capital, and GO Capital.

The funding will help develop advance etripamil into its Phase 3 development, supporting further clinical trials and the production of clinical and commercial supplies, as well as expanding the company’s current resources.

"Following our successful Phase 2 study results, we have been actively planning for the progression of etripamil into the next phase of development to further evaluate its potential as the only patient-administered treatment for the acute termination of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia," said Joseph Oliveto, Milestone's President and Chief Executive Officer.

"With financing in place by such seasoned and well-respected healthcare investors, Milestone is well positioned to advance and optimize this cutting-edge, novel approach for treating PSVT and potentially reduce the associated frequency of expensive emergency room visits and patient burden it causes each year."

In conjunction with this financing, joining Milestone's Board of Directors will be Nilesh Kumar, PhD, of Novo Ventures US Inc., which provides consulting services to Novo Holdings A/S, and Marco Boorsma, PhD, of Forbion Capital Partners. Daniel Omstead of Tekla Capital Management will be an observer to the Board of Directors. 

So, who are the investors?

Novo Holdings A/S

A leading private science venture capital investor company, Danish company Novo Holdings continually aim to improve the lives of thousands globally through investing in life science companies which focus specifically on the development of new drugs and procedures, which can help diagnose and treat diseases.

Established in 1999, the company has gained international exposure, and is located in Copenhagen, San Francisco, Boston and London. It is owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and the holding company is Novo Group

Forbion Capital Partners

Capital venture firm Forbion Capital Partners helps to further develop life science companies within the pharmaceutical industry, and is located in both Europe and the US. Similarly, to Novo Holdings, the company also seeks to invest in companies which are developing key solutions and products that can treat and control diseases, in areas such as cancer, central nervous system pain management and liver disease, amongst others.

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Tekla Capital Management

Tekla Capital Management LLC is a registered investment adviser based in Boston, Massachusetts and is the investment adviser for four closed-end funds, Tekla Healthcare Investors, Tekla Life Sciences Investors, Tekla Healthcare Opportunities Fund and Tekla World Healthcare Fund. The Funds predominately invest in the securities of public and private healthcare companies.

Domain Associates

Established back in 1985, Domain Associates was one of the original investors within the life-sciences industry, and has primary investment areas in pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical devices which highlight significant growth potential. Since its inception, the company has more than $2.7 billion in capital raised, and has supported over 250 companies in their advancements.

Fonds de solidarité FTQ

Situated in Canada, Fonds de solidarité FTQ has become key in placing key investment within Canada’s economy. With pharmaceuticals becoming an area of increased interest in the region, it is no surprise that Quebec’s largest development capital investment network has looked at investing in Milestone Pharma’s clinical developments.

As of May 31, 2017, the organisation had a net asset value of $13.1 billion, and has helped create and protect 186,440 jobs. The Fonds is a partner in more than 2,700 companies and has 645,664 shareholder-savers.

BDC Capital

A subsidiary of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), BDC Capital works to support Canadian entrepreneurs. The company’s Capital's Healthcare Venture Fund invests in Canadian companies which increase healthcare productivity by reducing healthcare costs while improving patient health.

Pappas Capital

Founded in 1994, Pappas Capital invests exclusively in the life sciences sector - biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, drug delivery, medical devices and related ventures - across the United States and Canada. Since 2014, three portfolio companies founded or co-founded by Pappas have been sold to large pharmaceutical companies: CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, bought in March 2017 by Eli Lilly for nearly $1 billion; Afferent Pharmaceuticals, for which Merck paid $500 million upfront and $750 million in milestones; and Lumena Pharmaceuticals, purchased by Shire for more than $300 million.

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Jun 22, 2021

Bachem turns 50 - a timeline

3 min
As Bachem turns 50, we take a look at the company's history

Bachem, a supplier to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. We take a look at the Swiss company's history.  

1971 - beginnings

Bachem is founded by entrepreneur Peter Grogg in Liestal, a small town near Basel in Switzerland. Grogg started the firm with just two employees, and with a focus on peptide synthesis - peptides are composed of amino acids that have a variety of functions treating health conditions such as cancer and diabetes. 

1977 - 1981 - early growth

Bachem moves its headquarters to the Swiss town of Bubendorf, with eight employees. In 1978 the company produces peptides for use in medicines for the first time. In 1981 production capacity triples and the workforce grows to 150. 

 1987 - 1996 - worldwide expansion

The company expands into the US with Bachem Bioscience, Inc. in Philadelphia. To strengthen its presence in Europe, Bachem opens sales and marketing centres in Germany in 1988. 

Further sales centres open in France in 1993. By 1995 the company employs 190 people. In 1996 it acquires the second largest manufacturer of peptides in the world and forms Bachem California with a site in Torrance. 

 1998 - 2003 - Bachem goes public

Bachem company goes public and lists shares on the Swiss Stock Exchange. Further acquisitions include Peninsula Laboratories, Inc, based in California, and  Sochinaz SA, a Swiss-based manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients.  By 2001, the company has 500 employees and sales reach 141 million CHF.

In 2003 the organisation is given a new legal holding structure to support its continued growth, which remains in place to this day. 

2007 - 2013 - acquisitions

Bachem acquires a brand by Merck Biosciences for ready-to-use clinical trial materials and related services. 

In 2013, together with GlyTech, Inc. Bachem announces the development of a new amino acid that can help to treat multiple sclerosis, with a world market of more than $4 billion. 

In 2015 it acquires the American Peptide Company (APC), which becomes integrated into Bachem Americas. 

2016 - 2019 - a global leader

In 2016 the group opens a new building dedicated to R&D projects and small series production in Bubendorf. With a total of 1,022 employees, the workforce exceeds the 1,000 mark for the first time in the company’s history. Sales are over the 200 million mark for the first time at 236.5 million CHF.
Bachem expands into Asia with the establishment of a new company in Tokyo called Bachem Japan K.K. 

By 2019 Bachem has a growing oligonucleotide portfolio - these are DNA molecules used in genetic testing, research, and forensics. It is hoped this will become a significant product range in the future. 

2020 - COVID-19

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Bachem secures its supply of active ingredients, and even increases it in critical areas. Sales exceed the 400 million Swiss franc mark for the first time, and  272 new employees are hired.  

2021 - a milestone anniversary

Bachem celebrates its 50th anniversary and position as a global leader in the manufacture of peptides. While it  remains headquartered in Bubendorf, the company employs 1,500 people at six locations worldwide. In the next five years there are  plans to continue expanding. 

Commemorating the company's anniversary, Kuno Sommer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: "Bachem's exceptional success story from a small laboratory to a global market leader is closely linked to Peter Grogg's values, and has been shaped by innovation, consistent quality and cost awareness, as well as by entrepreneurial vision."

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