Portfolio - Therapeutics


Daniel O'Mahony

Investing in the miracle of biologics

Covagen is developing next generation biologic fynomers to fight inflammatory diseases and cancer. The lead programme is an antibody-fynomer bispecific molecule targeting IL17 and TNF cytokines.

Background: Antibodies have become the blockbuster therapies of the 21stcentury. The race is now on to develop next generation biologics; with ease of manufacture, enhanced cell-killing abilities and multivalent molecules capable of binding several targets simultaneously. Covagen’s fynomer technology is uniquely positioned to address these challenges.

Our Involvement: We had tracked the evolution of the antibody field over many years. We believed there to be an opportunity for low molecular weight alternatives with the specificity of antibodies but increased flexibility to mix-and-match domains to create unique and superior biologics. We led a Series A financing into Covagen, where we held a Board seat and played an active role in the company’s strategy, business development, financing and recruitment.

Market Need: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects about 1% of the US population and is a serious and potentially disabling autoimmune disease. TNF inhibitors for the treatment of RA had over $22 billion in sales in 2010 and Covagen’s lead product targets this market.

Status: Covagen was sold to Cilag GmbH International, a part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of the Johnson & Johnson Group, in August 2014.

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