Mumbai: AstraZeneca has signed a deal with Nomura Phase4 Ventures to form Albireo, a company focused on developing new treatments for gastrointestinal disorders.
Albireo, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, is already doing clinical and pre-clinical gastrointestinal trials for AstraZeneca as well as several researchers with AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca plans to concentrate on Nexium and internal gastrointestinal research focused on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
"Albireo represents an exciting opportunity for AstraZeneca to deliver value for patients and our shareholders," said John Goddard, senior vice president, AstraZeneca Strategic Planning and Business Development. "AstraZeneca is committed to creating innovative partnerships and deal structures that realise the full potential of our science. Nomura Phase4 Ventures and its syndicate are leading healthcare investors with proven success in growing biotechnology companies," he added.
"Albireo represents a compelling investment story. We are all excited about the programmes being inherited from AstraZeneca and by the experience of the team in developing innovative drugs for GI disorders," said Denise Pollard-Knight, managing director, Nomura Phase4 Ventures.
Albireo will be financed by a syndicate of growth capital firms, led by Nomura Phase4 Ventures, along with TVM Capital and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, all specialist investors in the healthcare markets.
The company has raised $27 million in its first closing and anticipates receiving up to $40m in series A financing round.
AstraZeneca retains a significant minority equity interest as well as a seat on the Albireo board alongside representatives from TVM Capital and Nomura Phase4 Ventures.