Money will also be used to further two mid-stage products.

Cellerix has raised €27 million, or about $40.55 million. The funds will primarily be used to complete clinical development of its lead product, Ontaril®, currently in Phase III for the treatment of perianal fistulas.

Cellerix says that the proceeds will also be used to prepare for Ontaril’s market launch in the second half of 2011 as well as to further other clinical candidates. The firm has two more clinical programs: Cx501 for epidermolysis bullosa (EB) and Cx601 for perianal fistulas as well as rectovaginal fistulas, both in Phase II. Ontaril, Cx501, and Cx601 have been granted orphan status by the EMEA.

This round was led by YSIOS Capital Partners, LSP, and Ventech. Grupo Genetrix, Bankinter S.A., Capital Riesgo Madrid, and JV Risk Technologies S.L. also played a role in the deal. Additionally, current investors Roche Venture Fund and Novartis Venture Fund increased their stake. Furthermore, A&G and Cellerix’ management team have also subscribed to the capital increase. 

Ontaril is based on expanded mesenchymal stem cells obtained from adipose tissue. Cellerix is conducting a multicenter Phase III trial in Europe with 207 patients without inflammatory bowel disease. Additionally, the company has another multicenter Phase III study in Europe with 159 patients with Crohn’s disease.

Cx501, on the other hand, consists of chimeric skin equivalent containing components obtained autologously and allogeneically comprising a dermal and an epidermal layer. The artificial epidermis contains autologous human keratinocytes, and the artificial dermis is a 3-D matrix made up of a fiber-rich substrate obtained from pure donor blood plasma, which incorporates healthy human fibroblasts of allogeneic origin. These layers of skin are applied over the EB lesions.

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