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RiverVest sells portfolio company Lumena to Shire for USD260 million

RiverVest Venture Partners has sold portfolio company Lumena Pharmaceuticals to Dublin-based Shire Plc in a transaction with an upfront payment of USD260 million in cash.

The deal also includes a payment for net cash at closing, and near-term contingent milestone payments related to ongoing clinical trials.
In the three years since it received initial seed funding from life sciences venture capital firm RiverVest, Lumena has developed two drugs to provide better treatment options for adults and children who suffer from rare and debilitating liver diseases and serious metabolic disorders.
In addition to its financial commitment, RiverVest provided hands-on support to accelerate Lumena’s clinical programs and orphan drug designations. Niall O’Donnell, RiverVest managing director, acted as Lumena’s interim chief medical officer for 18 months; Bradley Keller, RiverVest’s entrepreneur-in-residence, served as Lumena’s vice president of research; and John McKearn, RiverVest managing director, served as chairman of Lumena’s board of directors.
“Lumena is another example of our strategy working effectively,” says McKearn. “We identify promising early-stage companies with the goal of exiting them within five years, and we provide the guidance and expertise to speed them towards commercialisation, making them attractive for sale.”
San Diego-based Lumena is the sixth company to exit from RiverVest’s Fund II (2006), which had total commitments of USD75 million. Fund II’s five previous exits have generated a total of USD82.5 million. With the Lumena sale, total potential Fund II proceeds from these six exits could reach USD227 million.

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