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2/28/2011 7:33:01 AM
Arsanis, Inc, a recently founded biotechnology company dedicated to the development of anti-infective monoclonal antibody therapeutics, today announced the closing of a Series A financing with a total funding amount of $10 million. Proceeds from the initial financing will be used to advance several programs in the anti-microbial infectious disease area.
The financing involved equal contributions from OrbiMed Advisors, Polaris Venture Partners and SV Life Sciences. Managing Partners, Carl Gordon, Terry McGuire and Mike Ross joined the founders on Arsanis’ Board of Directors.
Arsanis was founded in the fall of 2010 by Dr. Eszter Nagy (former SVP of Research at Intercell, AG), Dr. Tillman Gerngross (Co-founder and CEO of Adimab, and Co-founder and CSO of GlycoFi, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co. since 2006) and Errik Anderson (Co-founder and COO of Adimab) who bring together expertise in monoclonal antibody discovery, infectious disease biology and commercializing innovation. The company will initiate its operations in Vienna, Austria.
“Managing infectious diseases is the only field of modern medicine where current approaches are failing. The growing concern over broad resistance to conventional antibiotics demands new treatment modalities and we believe that monoclonal antibodies will play a major role in the anti-infective arena in the next couple of years,” explained Arsanis Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Eszter Nagy. “The current funding will support several pre-clinical proof-of-concept programs that will be the basis for the company’s future development decisions.”
“We extensively surveyed the infective disease space and wanted to find the right partner to build a company focused on this important emerging medical need. In Dr. Nagy we found an international leader who has the creativity, deep domain expertise, and entrepreneurial spirit to build a world class biotech company. It is a pleasure to work with her and the rest of the Arsanis team,” said Arsanis Co-founder Dr. Tillman Gerngross.
“We expect the infectious disease space to be quite active in the next couple of years and we believe that Arsanis will be a major player,” said Carl Gordon from OrbiMed Advisors.
“Over the past 12 years Polaris has backed four of Tillman’s companies and the opportunity around Arsanis was very compelling,” added Terry McGuire from Polaris. “Arsanis has an outstanding team working in an important area, paired with excellent discovery technology and a strong investor syndicate.”
“We have been closely monitoring opportunities in the infectious disease space. When we saw the Arsanis opportunity coming together we wanted to help shape the company and ended up betting on a very experienced infectious disease scientist in Dr. Nagy and an exceptionally powerful antibody discovery technology,” said Dr. Michael Ross from SV Life Sciences.
About Arsanis, Inc
Arsanis is committed to the development of monoclonal antibody therapeutics against severe infectious diseases that cannot be controlled with currently available medical treatments. The Company’s major focus is on life threatening infections that: are caused by antibiotic resistant pathogens; occur in immune compromised patients; or are associated with high mortality in spite of low rates of antibiotic resistance. Using first-in-class monoclonal antibody discovery technologies that support the selection of highly potent antibodies with unique qualities, we are building a broad portfolio of infectious disease targets. The most successful pre-clinical programs will be advanced into clinical proof-of-relevance studies. For more information, visit www.arsanis.com.
About OrbiMed Advisors
OrbiMed is the world’s largest life sciences and healthcare-dedicated investment firm, with approximately $5 billion in assets under management. Since inception of its private equity investment activities in 1993, OrbiMed has successfully invested in close to 100 companies across a wide range of therapeutic categories and stages of development. OrbiMed’s investment team includes approximately 30 experienced professionals with backgrounds in science, medicine, industry, finance and law. OrbiMed’s professionals work together using a collaborative, team-oriented approach to support our portfolio companies, which has earned OrbiMed a reputation as a capital provider of choice for life sciences companies of all stages.
About Polaris Venture Partners
Polaris Venture Partners is a partnership of experienced private equity investors, operating executives and entrepreneurs. The firm’s mission is to identify, invest in and partner with seed, early stage, and middle market businesses with exceptional promise and help them grow into market-leading companies. The firm has over $3 billion under management, more than 20 investment professionals, and current investments in more than 75 companies.
About SV Life Sciences
SV Life Sciences is a venture capital fund providing financing to businesses at all stages of development across the human life sciences sector, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and instruments, and healthcare information technology and services. SV Life Sciences currently manages or advises five funds with capital commitments of approximately $1.6 billion.