DOYLESTOWN, Pa., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Novira Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the completion of its Series A financing after securing $7.5 million from new investor Versant Ventures. This brings the total raised from all investors in the round to $25 million. Versant joins 5AM Ventures and Canaan Partners, which led the first closing of the Series A in August 2012. In conjunction with this investment, Gianni Gromo M.D., Ph.D., venture partner with Versant Ventures, joined the company's board of directors.
"We believe the addition of Versant bolsters an already strong investor syndicate," said Osvaldo Flores, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of Novira. "We also welcome Gianni to our board and believe his extensive industry experience will contribute greatly to our future success. We plan to use these funds to advance development of our hepatitis B virus (HBV) capsid inhibitor lead program toward the clinic and to discover additional HBV drug candidates."
Dr. Gromo added, "Novira's innovative HBV capsid inhibitor program and the company's highly experienced management team made this an attractive investment for Versant. We believe that Novira's approach to HBV capsid inhibition may disrupt pathways involved in virus persistence and has the potential to produce treatments that can cure millions of patients worldwide who are living with chronic HBV infection."
About Hepatitis B
More than 2 billion people worldwide have been infected with HBV at some time in their lives. Adults with a healthy immune system are capable of clearing HBV infection, but newborns, young children and immunocompromised patients frequently become chronically infected. Approximately 400 million people worldwide suffer from chronic HBV infection, with a significant percentage of those individuals dying from long-term complications such as liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. Treatment with nucleotide/nucleoside analogs can effectively suppress viral replication and delay progression of liver disease but does do not typically lead to a sustained virologic response or cure.
About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading venture capital firm that specializes in investments in innovative biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and other life science opportunities. Founded in 1999, the firm consists of an experienced team of managing directors committed to helping entrepreneurs build successful companies that impact healthcare and improve quality of life. The firm's successful IPOs include Clovis Oncology, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Genomic Health, Insulet and Kythera. M&A exits include Amira, LenSX, Acclarent, Cameron Health Ablation Frontiers and Lutonix. In addition to an industry-leading biotech-focused team in Basel, Switzerland and the San Francisco Bay Area, Versant has a presence in two other key geographic locations of Southern California and Minnesota.
For more information visit versantventures.com.
About Novira Therapeutics
Novira Therapeutics, Inc. is focused on the discovery of first-in-class antiviral therapeutics for the treatment of chronic HBV infection, a global disease with a high level of unmet medical need. Novira's oral drugs target the capsid of the virus and offer a promising treatment option both as monotherapy and in combination with current standards of care. The company's antivirals potentially address limitations in treating chronic HBV infection, a disease for which the only class of oral drugs available, polymerase inhibitors is rarely curative despite lifelong treatment. Capsid inhibitors that feature a new mechanism of action may address the limitations in the effectiveness of HBV therapy.
For more information, visit www.noviratherapeutics.com.
Osvaldo Flores, Ph.D.
SOURCE Novira Therapeutics, Inc.