HAYWARD, Calif., May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Arete Therapeutics Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular, inflammatory and metabolic diseases, today announced it raised $35 million in an extension of its Series A financing.
Founding investors Frazier Healthcare Ventures (http://www.frazierhealthcare.com) and Alta Partners (http://www.altapartners.com) co-led this financing, which included existing investors Three Arch Partners (http://www.threearchpartners.com), Burrill & Company (http://www.burrillandco.com) and Altitude Life Science Ventures (http://www.altitudefunds.com). This extension completes the Series A round and brings the total funding to $51 million.
"In just a little over a year, Arete has transitioned from a virtual infrastructure into a biopharmaceutical company. We have built a solid and experienced management team, and we have developed a robust and diverse portfolio of first-in-class preclinical compounds targeting a new approach for the treatment of hypertension and inflammation," said Dinesh V. Patel, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Arete Therapeutics Inc. "This financing, with an exceptional group of top tier investors, will allow us to advance our product portfolio and achieve clinical proof of concept in humans. We anticipate initiating clinical trials for our first IND candidate, AR9281, by the end of 2007."
Arete was founded in 2003 as a virtual Company based on over two decades of pioneering research by Professor Bruce Hammock of the University of California at Davis. His discoveries led to the validation of soluble epoxide hydrolase (s-EH) as a novel enzyme target for treatment of hypertension and inflammation. S-EH plays a key role in the third pathway of the arachidonic acid metabolism, and s-EH inhibitors have demonstrated preclinical efficacy in various animal models of hypertension and inflammation.
"This financing round is a reflection of internal investor support and confidence in the management team's execution of the business strategy and the development of the therapeutic portfolio," commented James Topper, M.D., Ph.D., general partner of Frazier Healthcare Ventures and chairman of the board for Arete Therapeutics Inc. "By targeting s-EH, an enzyme which plays a key role in arachidonic acid metabolism, Arete is addressing the very large market need for a unique antihypertensive compound with renal sparing, cardioprotective and anti-inflammatory properties."
About Arete Therapeutics Inc.
Arete Therapeutics Inc. is discovering and developing first-in-class small molecule compounds directed at novel targets for cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. The company's proprietary therapies are directed at soluble epoxide hydrolase (s-EH), an enzyme involved in a new branch of arachidonic acid metabolism. The company has discovered and developed a series of proprietary and chemically diverse molecules with preclinical efficacy in various animal models of hypertension and inflammation. Arete expects to initiate a phase 1a/1b clinical trial for its s-EH inhibitor IND candidate, AR9281, by the end of 2007.
Source: Arete Therapeutics Inc.