Promethera Biosciences has increased its series D round to $44.4m with a $33.1m Mitsui and Medipal-backed extension, adding to Itochu’s initial investment earlier this year.

Belgium-based liver disease therapy developer Promethera Biosciences closed its series D round at €39.7m ($44.4m) yesterday following a $33.1m extension that included corporates Mitsui and Medipal Holdings.

Diversified conglomerate Mitsui and medical supplies producer Medipal Holdings were joined in the second tranche by financial services firm Mirae Asset Capital, Six Snow, Korea Investment Partners and Ci:z Investment, potentially a vehicle for cosmetics producer Ci:z Holdings.

Trading group Itochu anchored the round with a $11.1m investment in January 2019, announced alongside $16.6m in convertible bond financing from investors including biopharmaceutical company Sosei Group, Beyond Next Ventures and CMBCC Co-High Medical Investment Fund.

Promethera is developing therapies that will use liver-derived cells obtained from healthy donated organs to treat acute and chronic liver diseases including systemic liver inflammation and progressive fibrosis.

The funding will be used to further develop the company’s lead program, HepaStem, and to launch its first clinical trial. The remaining proceeds will support the expansion of its manufacturing operations and preclinical programs.

Promethera has now raised a total of almost $132m. It had secured $11.5m in convertible bond financing in April 2018, from packaging equipment manufacturer Shibuya Corporation and Shinsei Corporate Investment, the corporate venturing arm of financial services firm Shinsei Bank.

The company had raised $11m in series C funding from Mitsui, pharmaceutical firm Boehringer Ingelheim, tissue engineering researcher LifeLiver, industrial engineering firm SMS Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, the corporate venturing unit of financial services firm Mistubishi UFJ in 2016.

Cell Innovation Partners, Fund+, Vesalius Biocapital and the Wallonia government-backed SRIW also participated in the series C round, which consisted of the newly raised capital along with $25.4m sourced in a 2014 tranche backed by SMS, Boehringer Ingelheim, Vesalius and SFPI.

The 2014 financing followed $31.4m in debt and series B equity financing from Boehringer Ingelheim, Mitsui subsidiary Mitsui Global Investment, pharmaceutical company Shire, Japanese investment fund Mitsui Global Investment, semiconductor material manufacturer ATMI and VC fund SambrInvest in 2012.