* Largest ever financing for a European biotech company
* Cash will help accelerate development of cancer drug
LONDON, Jan 6 Danish antibody drug developer
Symphogen said on Thursday it had raised 100 million euros
($131.4 million) in the largest ever financing for a private
European biotech company.
Novo A/S -- the majority shareholder in publicly listed
companies Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO) and Novozymes (NZYMb.CO) --
led the funding round, which consisted of a placement of
preferred stock with a group of investors.
Novo and Essex Woodlands together contributed 70 percent of
the investment, with the Danish Pension Fund PKA also joining as
a new investor.
The new money will help the company accelerate development
of its leading cancer drug candidate, Sym004, which started
early-stage Phase 1/2 development last April as a treatment for
advanced solid tumours.
Symphogen also appointed Goran Ando -- the former chief
executive of Britain's Celltech, which is now part of UCB
(UCB.BR) -- as its chairman.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)