IRVINE, Calif., June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Aviir Inc., a biotechnology company dedicated to the prevention of cardiovascular disease through innovative laboratory tests, today announced that its current investor group, including its newest investor Partners & Partners, has funded the third $10 million tranche that rounds out the total financing of $30 million initiated in December 2011. This financing was again triggered by the company's successful achievement of revenue milestones ahead of schedule.
The proceeds will be used to build out commercial infrastructure, accelerate the nationwide commercial launch, broaden third-party reimbursement and initiate foreign distribution of MIRISK VP™, Aviir's proprietary cardiac risk assessment technology, and additional laboratory testing services. Merck Global Health Innovation Fund led the round, and was joined by Partners & Partners. Current investors Bay City Capital, Aberdare Ventures, and New Leaf Venture Partners also participated.
Douglas Harrington, M.D., CEO of Aviir commented, "Our pilot and regional launch programs have generated both enthusiastic response among the physician community and commercial adoption. The additional funding will now allow us to conduct a more broad commercial launch domestically and take the next steps toward a comprehensive international distribution plan to be rolled out later this year."
Harrington continued, "The MIRISK VP test determines an individual's risk of experiencing future cardiac events, enabling them to take preventive action before it is too late. 50% of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels, but cholesterol is only part of the risk equation. More than 70% of heart attacks are caused by the rupture of unstable plaque in the arteries, which leads to clotting and heart attacks. The MIRISK VP test serves as an early warning system that this condition may be present and, importantly, can be addressed."
Aviir's MIRISK VP technology consists of a simple blood test that can be ordered by doctors for their patients so they can understand their risk of experiencing a heart attack and be motivated to make therapeutic lifestyle changes. The MIRISK VP technology measures the blood levels of 7 proteins associated with the development of vulnerable plaque. It then uses a complex algorithm to analyze those results and other known risk factors to determine an individual's probability of experiencing a heart attack within the next five years. Aviir will also be offering cardiologists and primary care physicians of these high-risk patients individualized recommendations for lifestyle changes aimed at mitigating their risk and improving their heart health.
About the MIRISK VP™ Assessment
The Aviir MIRISK VP Assessment was developed out of basic research at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Researchers identified proteins associated with the biological processes underlying vulnerable plaque development and showed they could be measured in a patient's blood up to 5 years prior to a plaque rupture and the ensuing heart attack. Aviir's scientists developed sensitive multiplexed assays to measure proteins in a person's serum and an algorithm that combines the levels of those proteins with other clinical risk factors into the MIRISK VP Assessment to provide an absolute risk score for CHD risk. That algorithm has been shown in an independent study population to significantly reclassify intermediate risk individuals into their true risk category. By objectively classifying those patients at high risk, the Aviir MIRISK VP Assessment supports physicians to more effectively manage and treat this group – aiding in the reduction and prevention of cardiac events. Used in conjunction with other clinical information, the MIRISK VP Assessment's easy to understand risk score for the imminent 5-year horizon may motivate compliance and behavioral changes by patients previously misidentified as intermediate risk.
Aviir was founded in 2005 by cardiologists and scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine to focus on discovery, development and commercialization of innovative diagnostic tests. The biotechnology company specializes in developing proprietary diagnostic tests to assist in identifying patients who are truly at high risk for the development of a cardiac event. Aviir's proprietary MIRISK and MIRISK VP assessments objectively identify, using a single blood draw, individuals who are at a high risk of experiencing a cardiac event over the next five years. Aviir's CLIA certified laboratory (Irvine, CA) complements these novel tests with a wide range of additional tests for heart health assessment and therapeutic monitoring of cardiovascular disease and related metabolic disorders – including pharmacogenomic and genetic tests. The company has adopted a unique clinical laboratory service model to provide physicians better diagnostic tools to help improve the cardiovascular health of their patients. The company is privately owned and funded by leading life science venture capital firms. Please visit www.aviir.com for more information.
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SOURCE Aviir Inc.