* 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)