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Novartis Option Fund leads a $30 million Series B financing round for Waltham’s Avila Therapeutics December 18, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Startups, Venture Capital.
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Novartis Option Fund leads a $30 million Series B financing round for Waltham’s Avila Therapeutics.

In a deal that combines equity financing with an option on an early-stage research program, Novartis Option Fund led a $30 million Series B financing on July 27 for Avila Therapeutics, which uses its proprietary Avilomics platform to design and develop covalent drugs in the areas of cancer, autoimmune disease and viral infection (read a write-up from The Pink Sheet” DAILY, here). NOF is a $200 million fund that seeds innovative companies through initial and follow-on investments – the initial investment is coupled with a program option to provide early validation of the company’s technology. Avila says it will use the proceeds to advance its first program into clinical development – its lead programs are a protease inhibitor for hepatitis C (AVL181) and a molecule targeting the Btk kinase (AVL291), an emerging target in oncology and autoimmune disease.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company did not say which of those programs would advance to clinical development first, and neither company identified the therapeutic target of the program for which NOF has option rights. Avila says its drugs work through protein-silencing – the molecules’ covalent nature enables them to bond strongly, selectively and resiliently to disease-causing proteins, theoretically producing superior therapeutic outcomes. The drug candidates’ covalent bonding also makes them effective against mutations in disease targets, according to Avila.

Participating with NOF in the Series B were Avila’s original investors – Abingworth, Advent Venture Partners, Atlas Venture and Polaris Venture Partners. The four VC firms staked Avila with $21.3 million in Series A funding in 2007, and also made a convertible debt purchase this past May that initially brought Avila $5 million and eventually could yield $15 million.


1. Anny - December 19, 2010

nice work keep it up.

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