Helsinn Investment Fund leads financial round in GreenBone

Published: 19-Jun-2017

New fund backed by the Helsinn Group, focused on supporting early stage opportunities in areas of high unmet patient need

Helsinn Investment Fund SA, a fund focused on early stage investments in areas of high unmet patient need, has made a €2 million investment in GreenBone, a privately held developer of bone regeneration technology.

GreenBone, which is based in Faenza, Italy, provides innovative, easy to use bio-inspired solutions designed to help cure severe bone diseases. This is one of a series of early stage investments made by Helsinn Investment Fund, which is incorporated in Luxembourg and is fully owned by Helsinn Group.

The investment by Helsinn Investment Fund, part of a wider fundraising, will be mainly used to complete by 2019 clinical development conducted in load bearing long bones defects, receive CE Mark and other general corporate purposes.

In addition, GreenBone intends to conduct the preclinical development for further applications in other skeleton diseases. GreenBone has already completed successfully a preclinical study at the Assaf-Harofeh Hospital (Israel) in co-operation with the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna.

GreenBone Ortho srl (Faenza, Italy) has developed a patented, innovative, wood-derived, bone regenerative implant for extensive bone damage in non-loaded and load-bearing skeletal segments such as long bone non-union fractures, spinal damage, trauma and cancer induced bone loss.

Owing to its structure and chemical composition, GreenBone has the ideal biomimetic, resorbable and regenerative properties for bone grafting.

GreenBone is expected to provide patients new functional bone, increasing their quality of life dramatically, while reducing healthcare and social costs that are typically high for such patients.

The idea was conceived and developed by a research group at ISTEC-CNR in Faenza (Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics, National Research Council) led by Dr Anna Tampieri. A first patent has already been granted in USA, EU, China and other countries, with an international PCT patent application pending. The patent portfolio has been subject of a worldwide exclusive license agreement between GreenBone Ortho srl and CNR.

The company is led by a world class team that has advanced multiple products including orthopaedic ones from bench-to-market. GreenBone closed a €3 million seed round of investment in 2015 from ZernikeMeta Ventures, Italian Angels for Growth (IAG) and some private Italian and foreign investors.

Helsinn Investment Fund was set up to draw on more than 40 years of expertise in research and development and commercialization of therapeutic candidates in cancer care, pain and inflammation and gastroenterology.

The Fund aims to help companies working across a range of areas in healthcare to develop early-stage technologies into commercial solutions that will impact health-related quality of life of patients.

Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group Vice Chairman and CEO, commented: "GreenBone is a great example of a dynamic, technology driven innovation that, we at Helsinn Investment Fund, believe can revolutionise the treatment of bone conditions brought about by impacts such as trauma and tumours. Since its creation in 2014, GreenBone has come a long way very quickly and we look forward to working with the management to further advance this life changing technology through to commercialisation."

Lorenzo Pradella, cofounder and CEO of GreenBone, said: "Securing an investment partner such as Helsinn Investment Fund is of great value to GreenBone."

"Helsinn Investment Fund brings financial resources, but also experience and commercial know-how to help bringing a product to market in a timely and cost effective manner. We look forward to working with them and to progressing our product through clinical trials and ultimately bringing it to patients."

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