KB Investment joins $134 mn funding for Swiss biotech venture

  • 2019-07-20

KB Investment Co. Ltd., the venture capital arm of KB Financial Group, has invested $10 million in a Swiss biotech start-up firm which recently raised $134 million in its initial financing round, according to a KB Investment source.

The venture capital firm was the only South Korean investor in Arvelle Therapeutics GmbH which secured the funding to acquire the exclusive rights from a South Korean company on a potential treatment for focal seizures in Europe.

A global syndicate of investors for the series A funding includes Europe-based Life Sciences Partners (LSP), NovaQuest Capital Management, BRV Capital Management, Andera Partners and H.I.G. BioHealth Partners.

Under an agreement with SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., Arvelle Therapeutics will develop and commercialize Cenobamate to treat focal seizures in adult patients, in Europe.

Cenobamate, discovered by SK Biopharmaceuticals, has been filed for FDA approval.

The funding was one of the largest initial financings for a Europe-focused biotech company, valuing the newly-formed company at $147 million, the KB Investment source said.

In February, LSP said in a statement that it led the global syndicate of investors for a $180 million series A financing for Arvelle.

But the KB source corrected the number to $134 million.

Arvelle will pay $100 million upfront to SK Biopharmaceuticals and up to $430 million later upon commercialization of the treatment plus royalties on net sales generated in Europe.

In June, KB Financial Group injected 50 billion won ($43 million) into the venture capital arm to boost the latter’s equity capital so that it can increase overseas investment, MoneyToday, a Korean news outlet, said.

Currently, overseas investments by South Korean venture capital firms are limited to 40% of their paid-in capital.

By Chaeyeon Kim

why29@hankyung.com

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>

(Photo: Getty Images Bank)