New funds revolve around Copernicus

Nov. 20, 2002 — Copernicus Therapeutics Inc., a Cleveland developer of products for human gene therapy and vaccination, has raised $2 million in an ongoing bridge financing round, according to Robert Moen, chief executive officer. Investors in the current round so far are all previous investors, the largest being Veron International Ltd. and BioAsia’s Biotechnology Development Fund. The firm is seeking approximately $500,000 more from new investors to complete the round.

Copernicus will use the funds to continue development of its cystic fibrosis aerosol product as well as other products based on its DNA nanoparticle technology. The company’s technologies were originally licensed from Case Western Reserve University and Ohio University.

Moen said the company hopes to raise a larger financing round in 2003 when results of clinical trials are released. “The size of that would depend a little bit on how good the clinical results are,” he said. Moen said he anticipates the round would be at least $7 million.

Including the $2 million just raised, Copernicus has raised approximately $16 million to date in equity financing and approximately $3 million in grants from state and federal agencies and private foundations. Previous investors included BioAsia, GeneChem Technologies Venture Fund LP, Veron International Ltd., Ariane Health LCD and private investors. The company employs 12 people and was founded in 1998.


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