12:00 AM
Feb 18, 2008
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Externalization campaign

AstraZeneca plc last week completed its first venture capital-backed spin off of non-core research assets by transferring some if its gastrointestinal pipeline into the newly created Albireo AB. The move is part of the pharma's refocusing of its GI research and is in line with its strategy to seek close relationships with the venture community to add value to potentially under-financed programs within its pipeline.

At the end of 2006, AstraZeneca decided to discontinue discovery research in functional gastric disorders and inflammatory bowel diseases(see BioCentury, Feb. 5, 2007).

Albireo is getting one clinical program and an undisclosed number of preclinical functional GI assets. AstraZeneca is taking an undisclosed but significant minority stake and a board seat.

The venture syndicate, led by Nomura Phase4 Ventures and including TVM Capital and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, will invest $27 million in the newco. It is expected that at least one other VC will join the syndicate in the near future and close the series A round at $40 million.

"The financing has been designed...

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