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META portfolio company en route to an IPO

26/02/2020

Biogenera, a META portfolio company, has just been selected as a target for listing by Life Care Capital (AIM Italy).

META, as a cornerstone investor, in partnership with Italian Angels for Growth (IAG) and the Emilia-Romagna Region, Andrea Pession and Roberto Tonelli, representing about 85% of the share capital of Biogenera, signed yesterday a framework agreement with Life Care Capital, that will lead, by the end of July, to the merger by incorporation of LCC into Biogenera. For the purposes of the merger, Biogenera was assigned an equity value of 70 million euros and LCC an equity value of approximately 139 million euros.

Biogenera is a biotech company specialised in the research and development of DNA biotechnological drugs for the treatment of serious paediatric and adult pathologies, born from a patent of the founding members Andrea Pession and Roberto Tonelli and from the careful due diligence and investment of META Ventures with IAG and the Emilia-Romagna Region.

12 years have passed since Roberto Tonelli and Andrea Pession received the first investment that allowed them to undertake this path. "I met Roberto when only a few but promising results from in vitro experimentation were available. The quality and purpose of the research and the motivations of Roberto and Andrea prompted us to believe immediately in the project, to set up the company looking for other investors who could together with META Ventures bring resources into Biogenera,' says Francesca Natali, Director of Biogenera and META Ventures. 'It was tiring at the beginning also emotionally: we met the associations of the parents of the children with neuroblastoma. However, in recent years we have been convinced that an effective alternative therapy for the treatment of rare paediatric tumours could be brought to the market,' concludes Francesca Natali

'Biogenera was the first major investment made between META Ventures and IAG. As President of META Ventures and co-founder of IAG, this was a moment of particular significance for me: 26 of the 28 business angels of which IAG was then composed enthusiastically accepted my invitation and that of Roberto Tonelli, investing almost half a million euros, a record figure for the angel investing in Italy at the time,' declares Luigi Amati.

'For META, this is the confirmation that seeking excellence in in Italian and European Universities and Research Centres - a path that we have started to pioneer since 1993 - can generate results of great value. There is still a lot to do. Our hope is that Biogenera can, with its example, change the speed and effectiveness of the dialogue between universities, research, knowledge-intensive companies and investors, in order to have many other stories like this soon – from Knowledge to Market!'


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META
Biogenera
IAG
Emilia Romagna Research and Innovation
LCC