GeneQuine Biotherapeutics Closes Seed Financing with High-Tech Gründerfonds and Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg

November 12, 2012

The Hamburg, Germany-based biotech startup GeneQuine Biotherapeutics today announced the completion of a seven-figure seed financing round. Investors are the German seed funds High-Tech Gründerfonds, Bonn and Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg. Funding will be used to perform proof-of-concept studies with the lead product – a gene therapy drug for the treatment of osteoarthritis in horses.

GeneQuine Biotherapeutics develops gene therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease with high unmet medical need. While osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in humans – especially in the aged population – it is also a major health problem with significant market volume in horses and dogs. GeneQuine initially targets the more easily accessible veterinary market with the lead product GQ-201 for osteoarthritis in horses and a second product candidate for dogs while the long-term goal is the development of a gene therapeutic drug for osteoarthritis in man.

The gene therapy technology for the treatment of osteoarthritis was co-developed by GeneQuine’s co-founder Kilian Guse at Dr. Brendan Lee’s research group at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA and has already shown efficacy in an osteoarthritis mouse model. GeneQuine holds a worldwide, exclusive license for the technology and will use the raised funds to demonstrate proof-of-concept in a horse osteoarthritis model with the lead product GQ-201.

Kilian Guse, PhD, CEO and co-founder of GeneQuine, stated: “We are very happy to receive seed funding from the High-Tech-Gründerfonds and the Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg. With the funds and the support of our two investors we will drive the development of our lead product GQ-201 for osteoarthritis in horses and demonstrate proof-of-concept in the target species.”

Also the High-Tech Gründerfonds is looking forward to the collaboration. Dr. Martin Pfister, investment manager, added: “The recent approval of the first gene therapy product for a rare disease in Europe will move the entire field forward. Financing the development of innovative therapies with strong proof-of-principle data is the core business of the High-Tech Gründerfonds. We are convinced that the company will be successful based on their know-how and the exciting market.”

“The treatment of osteoarthritis constitutes one of the largest veterinary markets, however there is no product on the market to provide cure to the disease. The resulting unmet medical need was one of the key points for our investment decision. Furthermore we are happy to bring such a highly innovative company as GeneQuine to Hamburg”, said Doreen Huhle, Investment manager at Innovationsstarter Hamburg.

About GeneQuine Biotherapeutics
GeneQuine Biotherapeutics is a Hamburg, Germany-based biotech startup company focused on the development of gene therapy for osteoarthritis. While initially targeting the relative easily accessible veterinary market, the long-term goal is to develop a gene therapeutic drug for osteoarthritis in humans. The gene therapy technology has shown efficacy in an osteoarthritis mouse model and the lead product GQ-201 for horses is now being tested in a proof-of-concept study in the target species.

For more information about GeneQuine Biotherapeutics visit: www.genequine.com

Contact:
GeneQuine Biotherapeutics
Dr. Kilian Guse
Harburger Schlossstr. 6-12
21079 Hamburg
Germany
phone: +49 40 766 29 28 5
info@genequine.com

About Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg
Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg invests venture capital in young and innovative start-ups based in Hamburg, in order to strengthen their research and development activities. Planned are equity investments up to 1 mio EUR in corporate entities. The assets under management have a volume of 12 Mio EUR and are equally provided by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg as well as the European Fonds for Regional Development (EFRE). The management of the fonds is carried out by Innovationsstarter Hamburg GmbH, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Innovationstiftung Hamburg.

Contact:
Doreen Huhle
Innovationsstarter Hamburg GmbH
Habichtstraße 41
22305 Hamburg
phone: +49 40 6579805-9
huhle@innovationsstarter.co
www.innovationsstarter.com

About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gründerfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the KfW Banking Group, as well as fourteen industrial groups of ALTANA, BASF, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE Color, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gründerfonds has about EUR 565.5 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 293.5 million HTGF II).

Contact:
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Martin Pfister
Investmentmanager
Schlegelstraße 2
53113 Bonn
Germany
phone: +49 228 823 00 100
fax: +49 228 823 00 05
info@high-tech-gruenderfonds.de
www.high-tech-gruenderfonds.de

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