High-Tech Gründerfonds, Private Investors and KfW invest €4.3 million in Algiax Pharmaceuticals GmbH

May 14, 2012

Advanced Therapy for Neuropathic Pain

Algiax Pharmaceuticals GmbH, headquartered in Erkrath, is a biotechnology research company which was founded in July 2011. It is dedicated to drug development addressing central nervous system (CNS) illnesses and dysfunctions, with a focus on neuropathic pain. A consortium of private investors, as well as KfW and High-Tech Gründerfonds, are investing approx. €4.3 million in Algiax in a first closing.

Pain is the primary reason for a visit to a doctor in Germany. According to the German Research Association for Neuropathic Pain (Deutscher Forschungsverbund Neuropathischer Schmerz, DFNS) chronic neuropathic pain occurs with a prevalence of approx. 6%, corresponding to just under 5 million sufferers in Germany. The global costs for the diverse treatments of neuropathic pain were approx. $US 4.8 billion in 2010 with an estimated increase to $US 10 billion in 2018.

Long-term therapy of neuropathic pain currently involves the use of medicines with a variety of mechanisms of action. In addition to limited effectiveness, the success of treatment is mostly being impacted by resistance, serious side effects and addiction. Current therapy options are not curative, but instead seek to suppress pain by 30-50%. This entails an urgent need for new, effective and safe medications.

It is Algiax Pharmaceuticals’ aim to establish the first causal-therapeutic treatment of chronic neuropathic pain syndrome. The substances patented by Algiax (late preclinical development stage) don’t just target the symptoms of neuropathic pain, but also enable causal therapy of pain induction. The mechanism: a suppression of pain-inducing processes represents a therapeutic intervention at the earliest possible stage. It can not only prevent the development of neuropathic pain syndrome, but also the establishment of pain-induced secondary diseases. In preclinical studies it was shown that the Algiax substances have the potential to address a broad spectrum of both central nervous as well as peripheral neuropathic pain syndromes of differing origin.

“With the first closing for €4.3 million we have laid the foundation for the further expansion of the company. Our aim is to gain approval for the clinical testing stage”, said Dr. Jürgen Schumacher, co-founder and Managing Director of Algiax.

“We are happy that Algiax’s well-stocked seed round will enable the development of a preclinical program for a thus far inadequate treated indication with high medical need”, added Dr. Martin Pfister, responsible Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds.

Dr. Detlev Riesner as the lead investor for KfW, active for years as a business angel in the biotechnology scene, emphasizes that at Algiax excellent science in combination with experienced management and high market potential come together in a perfect way.

Contact Algiax:
Algiax Pharmaceuticals GmbH
Stefan Fischer
Max-Planck-Straße 15a
40699 Erkrath
Phone: +49 211 – 617 851 10
Fax: +49 211 – 617 851 50

About ERP Startfonds at KfW
KfW finances and supports start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as investments in growth and jobs in Germany. With the ERP Startfonds it manages and co-finances, it invests in particular in innovative, technology-oriented companies with good growth opportunities. Both research and product development as well as the launch of new products, processes or services are financed. KfW is always involved along with a lead investor and only at market terms. Since 2004 a total of approx. €730 m has been available to ERP Startfonds for investments in start-up technology companies.

KfW Bankengruppe
Branch Bonn
Ludwig-Erhard-Platz 1-3
53179 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 831 0
Fax: +49 228 831 9500
Email: infocenter@kfw.de
Internet: www.kfw.de

About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds 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 Gruenderfonds 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 thirteen industrial groups of ALTANA, BASF, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE Color, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 563 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million EUR HTGF I, EUR 291 million HTGF II).

High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Martin Pfister
Investment Manager
Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2
53175 Bonn
Tel.: +49 228 823001–00
Fax: +49 228 823000–50

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