KalVista Pharmaceuticals Raises $33 Million to Advance Development of Novel Plasma Kallikrein Inhibitors in Diabetic Macular Edema and Hereditary Angioedema

Jul 22, 2015, 04:00 ET from KalVista Pharmaceuticals

BOSTON, Massachusetts and SALISBURY, England, July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

KalVista Pharmaceuticals, a research-led pharmaceutical company, today announced it has raised $33 million in a Series B financing to support its research and clinical development programs. KalVista will use the funds to advance its proprietary portfolio of plasma kallikrein inhibitors for treating diabetic macular edema (DME) and hereditary angioedema (HAE). Alongside the existing investors, Novo A/S and SV Life Sciences, the round included additional international healthcare investors experienced in plasma kallikrein targeted mechanisms led by RA Capital Management and including Longwood Fund and Venrock.

Rajeev Shah, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at RA Capital and Rich Aldrich, co-founder and Partner of Longwood Fund, will join the KalVista Board of Directors. Bong Koh, a Partner at Venrock, and Tomas Kiselak, a Managing Director at RA Capital, will join the Board as observers.

Andrew Crockett, KalVista's CEO, said: "This financing round attracted significant demand from major healthcare investors and we are delighted with this vote of confidence in our strategy to develop best-in-class plasma kallikrein inhibitors in serious diseases. This financing will allow us to rapidly advance our programs in DME and HAE towards important clinical proof of concept milestones and bring much-needed treatments to patients. We are now in a very strong position to drive the growth of KalVista, and achieve the full potential of our therapeutic pipeline."

KalVista has developed and patented a diverse pipeline of highly selective and potent plasma kallikrein inhibitors designed for different routes of administration. The Series B financing will enable the Company to accelerate the advancement of these drug candidates through to clinical testing for multiple disease indications. The most advanced program, an intravitreally administered plasma kallikrein inhibitor has just completed its first-in-human study and will move into Phase 2 trials in 2016 for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME).

KalVista is also rapidly advancing orally delivered inhibitors through pre-clinical testing. These drugs will not only expand the therapeutic options for DME patients but also enable KalVista to expand its disease portfolio into the treatment of HAE and other kallikrein-related disorders. In addition, KalVista continues to expand its small molecule portfolio towards additional therapeutic targets to fully exploit its research expertise with serine proteases for the treatment of unmet clinical needs.

Rajeev Shah of RA Capital said: "We are delighted to conclude this financing, and are very excited to be joining the Board of KalVista at a time of great progress and pipeline expansion in the Company. We were attracted to this investment by KalVista's scientific leadership in this area and its significant progress towards its goal of bringing best-in-class, small molecule plasma kallikrein inhibitors to the market. Together with the Longwood Fund and Venrock as new investors alongside SVLS and Novo, the syndicate brings considerable experience in the Company's areas of interest. We look forward to helping KalVista execute its ambitious business plan."

Notes to Editors 

About plasma kallikrein 

Plasma kallikrein is a serine protease and an important component of the body's inflammatory response. It circulates as an inactive enzyme (prekallikrein), which upon activation at the site of vascular injury initiates a cascade that results in increased levels of the potent vasoactive peptide bradykinin, which in turn leads to dilation of blood vessels and increased vascular permeability, edema and inflammation. Plasma kallikrein is itself regulated by C1-inhibitor.

Abnormal activity of the plasma kallikrein system is implicated in many diseases including diabetic macular edema, hereditary angioedema, cerebral hemorrhage and additional microvascular complications of diabetes. Studies of small molecule plasma kallikrein inhibitors delivered to the eye and orally have demonstrated the potential of this approach for treating these and other indications.

About KalVista Pharmaceuticals 

KalVista is a research-led pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule serine protease inhibitors for diseases with significant unmet need. Based on over two decades of work in this area, KalVista's R&D team has developed a proprietary portfolio of small molecule plasma kallikrein inhibitors targeting diabetic macular edema (DME) and hereditary angioedema (HAE). KalVista's most advanced program, an intravitreally administered plasma kallikrein inhibitor, has successfully completed its first-in-human study in patients with DME. The Company's portfolio of orally delivered plasma kallikrein inhibitors for DME and HAE are advancing rapidly towards clinical testing.

KalVista has a strong scientific heritage, with world-leading expertise in the role of plasma kallikrein in disease, and a management team with proven experience in bringing small molecules through the clinic to commercialization. The Company has raised more than $57 million from international life science investors: Longwood Fund, Novo A/S, RA Capital Management, SV Life Sciences and Venrock. In addition, its development programs have received more than $12 million in non-dilutive funding and support from the JDRF, Innovate UK and the European Commission. http://www.KalVista.com

About Longwood Fund 

Longwood Fund is a healthcare venture capital firm that founds, manages, and builds healthcare companies. Longwood's mission is to identify technologies and to found companies that will advance new therapeutics that not only make a difference in the lives of patients, but also create significant value for investors. This is achieved by leveraging the management team's history of successful healthcare company formation and operational leadership. http://www.longwoodfund.com

About Novo A/S 

Novo A/S is a Danish private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and the holding company of the Novo Group and as such the major shareholder in the publicly listed companies Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S and NNIT A/S.

Novo's purpose and objectives are to manage the Foundation's financial assets and to ensure the Novo Nordisk Foundation sufficient dividends to cover its grant obligations for medical and scientific research in Scandinavia Novo invests significantly into both private and public life science companies as part of its overall asset management strategy. http://www.novo.dk

About RA Capital 

RA Capital Management, LLC ("RA Capital") is a crossover fund manager dedicated to evidence-based investing in public and private healthcare and life science companies that are developing drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics. The flexibility of its strategy allows RA Capital to lead private, IPO, and follow-on financings for its portfolio companies, both facilitating the crossover process and allowing management teams to drive value creation with minimal capital concerns from inception through commercialization.

RA Capital's scientifically trained research team is intensely data driven in its continual effort to identify early breakthroughs and originate conviction in new ideas. The team's understanding of industry best practices is derived from an extensive collection of case studies documenting the impact of clinical trial design, partnership structures, public market dynamics, and many other factors on valuation and business viability.

RA Capital's approach to research and due diligence is highly collaborative, encouraging outreach and exchange of knowledge within the biotechnology community at conferences, in the classroom, and through a targeted publications program. http://www.racap.com

About SV Life Sciences 

SV Life Sciences is a leading, international life sciences venture capital firm. SVLS affiliated funds have been investing in life sciences companies since the early 1980s and the Firm closed its first dedicated life sciences fund in 1994. SVLS' team of 32 professionals is organized according to experience and specialization into three practice areas: Biotechnology/Biopharmaceuticals, Medical Devices/Instrumentation, and Healthcare Services/Healthcare IT. These individuals' diverse and complementary skill sets and experiences enable SVLS to tailor an investment team for almost any life science business. Typically, SVLS recruits operating executives, called Venture Partners, who have distinguished careers in the life sciences fields and can bring extensive operating expertise to the SVLS portfolio of investments. They assist in sourcing, building and exiting investments successfully. In some cases, these individuals are promoted to serve as Partners and/or Managing Partners within the Firm. SVLS employs a close symbiosis between operating and financial professionals which has led to significant success over five investment funds. SVLS has offices in Boston, London and San Francisco. For more information, please visit the company's website at http://www.svlsa.com.

About Venrock 

Originally established as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family, Venrock continues an eight-decade tradition of partnering with entrepreneurs to create industry-defining companies. Successful Venrock portfolio companies include Apple, Intel, CheckPoint Software, DoubleClick, AppNexus, Gilead Sciences, Illumina, AthenaHealth, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Castlight Health. Venrock has offices in Palo Alto, CA; New York, NY; and Cambridge, MA. For more information, please visit Venrock's website at http://www.venrock.com and follow the firm on Twitter at @venrock.

SOURCE KalVista Pharmaceuticals