January 6, 2011 / 11:48 AM / 7 years ago

Danish biotech Symphogen raises record $131 mln

* Largest ever financing for a European biotech company

* Cash will help accelerate development of cancer drug

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - 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)

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