Poland's largest drug discovery company Selvita has raised around $5.5 million in a private placement.

Selvita says that it now expects to be listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange NewConnect market in June, subject to regulatory approvals, adding that the capitalisation of the company after the issue will be around $21 million. Proceeds from the financing will be used primarily for the ongoing pre-clinical development of Selvita’s drug candidates.

These include "potentially first-in-class compounds", notably SEL24 (a Pim kinase inhibitor in oncology), SEL120 (an anti-mitotic agent with a novel mechanism of action) and SEL113, for cancer and auto-immune disorders). The company added that the funds will also expand its lab space for outsourcing of drug discovery projects "which is the second pillar of Selvita’s business model".

Chief executive Pawel Przewiezlikowski said that from its founding in 2007 "we have grown a balanced portfolio of projects and services and built a strong customer base in the USA and Europe". He claimed that Selvita is currently the largest independent drug discovery company in the region and "we believe that our hybrid model allows us to offer the best of the Polish science to the global pharmaceutical market".

Selvita, which is based in Krakow, currently employs 115 people and expects to move its first candidates to the clinic in 2012.