France’s Cerenis Therapeutics has raised over 50 million euros to fund mid-stage development of its investigational cholesterol drug.

The Toulouse-based group, which also has operations in Ann Arbor, USA, has closed a series C financing of 40 million euros, and some 20 million euros of that has come from the French government’s Fund for Strategic Investment. The other 20 million euros from this third round of financing is coming from existing investors: Sofinnova Partners, HealthCap, Alta Partners and TVM Capital, EDF Ventures, OrbiMed and DAIWA Corporate Investment.

Cerenis also announced that along with manufacturing partner Groupe Novasep, it has received extra French Government funding of 10.7 million euros, through the Oseo programme. The cash will be used to fund Phase II development of CER-001, a high density lipoprotein-mimetic for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and research on other new HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) therapies.

Chief executive Jean-Louis Dasseux said the financing “recognizes the progress made to date in the development of Cerenis in the field of HDL, the promise of the pipeline of products, and the quality of Cerenis’ team." This round of financing brings the total capital raised since the firm was founded in 2005 to 107 million euros.

Meantime, Cerenis also revealed that ex-GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier is joining the board. He is stepping down as CEO of Pierre Fabre at the beginning of September.