Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Private equity firm buys PTS to seize on COVID-19-fueled transformation of nanoparticle delivery

A private equity group has bought Polypeptide Therapeutic Solutions for its nanoparticle drug delivery technologies. Arcline Investment Management struck the deal in the belief the success of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines has permanently accelerated the rise of nanoparticle delivery.

PTS spun out from a Spanish biomedical research center in 2012 and, with the support of investors including Columbus Venture Partners, has established vehicles to transport active substances. The vehicles have multiple applications, including as non-viral vectors to deliver nucleic acids. Increased interest in that use case was a factor in the deal.

“We believe that the success of nanoparticle delivery technologies in COVID-19 mRNA vaccines has permanently accelerated the funding, development and adoption of these advanced drug delivery systems,” Arcline said in a statement.

Arcline is buying PTS from Columbus for an undisclosed sum and plans to invest to expand its good manufacturing practice production capabilities and technology portfolio. PTS CEO Jose Vicente Pons Andreu said the investment comes at a critical time when the company needs to scale to meet the demands of customers who are seeking “safer and more precise drug delivery.”

PTS serves customers from its headquarters in Valencia, Spain, but is targeting both the European and North American markets. In explaining Columbus’ decision to sell, Damiá Tormo, general partner at the Spanish biotech investor, said Arcline is the right partner to help PTS scale up and “leverage its technology in Europe and North America.” 

News of the takeover comes months after Arcline raised a $2.75 billion fund. After raising its first $1.5 billion fund, Arcline invested in eight “platform companies,” including cell and gene therapy material supplier Akron Biotech, and completed 29 add-on acquisitions. Akron bought a second manufacturing facility after Arcline acquired a majority interest in the company. 

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