Gimv and co-investors sell Breath Therapeutics to Zambon
Antwerp (BE) / Munich — Gimv, Sofinnova and Gilde Healthcare sell their shares in the biopharmaceutical company Breath Therapeutics. The company, which specializes in the development of first-in-class inhalation solutions for severe lung diseases, raised approximately €43.5 million in 2017 in one of the largest European Series A rounds to date. With the support of the investors, two global Phase III studies on inhalation therapy solutions for the rare lung disease Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome (BOS) have now been initiated. There is currently no approved therapy for BOS and the disease is fatal in many cases. The buyer of Breath Therapeutics is the Italian family-owned pharmaceutical and chemical company Zambon.
Gimv joined Sofinnova Partners (France) as lead investor in Breath Therapeutics in March 2017. Other investors were Gilde Healthcare (Netherlands) and PARI Pharma as licensor for the inhalation devices. In addition to the financial support, Gimv’s expertise was also crucial to the success of the spin-out process, to the syndication of the financing structure, to the implementation of the strategy, and to the implementation of lean, internal processes. Thanks to this external know-how, Breath Therapeutics has been able to further develop its own innovation capabilities into a mature therapy solution, as well as to build up a top-class team of experts in Europe and the USA.
Dr. Karl Nägler, Partner and responsible for the Health & Care platform at Gimv Germany, says: “We are even more pleased with the successful development of the company over the past two years, as Gimv was significantly involved in the strategic direction and setting up of the platform for growth from the very beginning. The potential of Breath Therapeutics and the compound was clear to us at an early stage, as lung diseases are unfortunately on the rise — especially due to environmental factors and changing lifestyles. Against this background, with Zambon’s support, Breath Therapeutics is in an excellent position to successfully commercialize the product in the future and to develop new fields of application.”
Dr. Jens Stegemann, Chief Executive Officer at Breath Therapeutics, adds: “With this compound, Breath Therapeutics has developed a product that can significantly improve the lives of many people. We have found a partner that shares our vision in Zambon, an innovative company with high ethical standards and a clear focus on patient well-being. Already, we have advanced the development of a potential first-in-class therapy for BOS, initiated two global Phase III trials, and are thus excellently positioned in the market. Thanks to Zambon’s infrastructure, expertise and clear focus on research and development, we can accelerate these processes even further and make the treatment available to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. We would like to thank our former partners Gimv, Sofinnova and Gilde Healthcare for their support, which was crucial to the successful development of our company, especially in the early years.”
This transaction increases Gimv’s NAV by EUR 20 million (as of March 31, 2019). With this investment, Gimv achieved an ROI above its stated long-term target of 15%.
Gimv is a European investment company with almost 40 years of experience in private equity. The company is listed on Euronext Brussels, currently manages around EUR 1.1 billion and currently invests in 55 portfolio companies, which together realize a turnover of more than EUR 2.75 billion and employ 14,000 people.
Gimv identifies innovative, leading companies with high growth potential and supports them on their way to market leadership. Each of the four investment platforms Connected Consumer, Health & Care, Smart Industries and Sustainable Cities is managed by a dedicated and competent team, each based in Gimv’s home markets — Benelux, France and DACH — and supported by an extensive international network of experts.