DENMARK - PKA has announced it is investing around DKK140m (€19m) in a Danish biotech firm developing cancer drugs, part of what it says is the biggest capital injection ever into a European biotech business.

The Danish pension fund group said its investment of DKK140m is part of a DKK750m injection into the biotech company Symphogen.

Other investors include Novo A/S and Essex Woodlands Fund VIII of the US. The capital is being raised by private placement of preferred stock.

Symphogen is a private biopharmaceutical company developing antibody therapeutics to treat cancer and infectious and autoimmune diseases.

The biotech firm said it intends to use the money raised to speed up the progress on its main clinical oncology product Sym004, as well as moving forward with other anti-cancer projects.

Michael Nelleman Pedersen, investment director at PKA, said the pensions administration group had big hopes for Symphogen.

"Symphogen has attracted international attention with its prospects of taking cancer research a step further, and we are confident that the business can develop and market its products further for cancer treatments and other diseases," he said.

"We believe the business will be able to give our members' pensions a good return; over and above this, our members, many of whom work in the health sector, will certainly approve of PKA investing in a business which is researching into finding a treatment for cancer," Nelleman Pedersen said.

PKA is the joint administration group for eight Danish pension funds, and managed total assets of DKK122bn at the end of 2009.