NEWTON, Mass., Nov 16, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company developing and commercializing innovative non-systemic oral protein therapeutics, today announced that it has secured $15 million in Series A venture capital financing. Top-tier venture investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Frazier Healthcare and Third Rock Ventures led the round. Proceeds from the financing will be used to accelerate the development of Allena's non-systemic protein therapeutics to treat metabolic and orphan diseases, with a particular focus on nephrologic and urologic conditions.
Founded by Alexey Margolin, Ph.D., founder and former chief executive officer of Alnara Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Robert Gallotto, former chief business officer of Alnara, Allena is leveraging its leadership team's unique expertise in protein therapeutic design and development, as well as their operational and transaction experience.
"Allena's innovative and proven approach for the development of oral protein therapeutics offers the potential to provide breakthrough treatments for patients with limited or no treatment options," said Dr. Margolin, president and chief executive officer of Allena. "We are committed to rapidly creating value for our investors and working with renowned scientific leaders in metabolic, nephrologic and urologic disorders to advance our program. We expect to announce our initial disease indication shortly."
The management team is joined by an experienced board of directors, including Stephen Kraus, partner, Bessemer Venture Partners, James Topper, M.D., Ph.D., general partner, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, and Robert Tepper, M.D., partner, Third Rock Ventures.
"We see Allena as an opportunity to create a world-class pharmaceutical company driven by a proven technical approach and strengthened by innovative research and science," said Robert Tepper, M.D., partner, Third Rock Ventures. "Our experience working with this team in the past has yielded tangible success, including the acquisition of Alnara by Eli Lilly & Co. in 2010, and we look forward to working with Allena to create value and positively impact the lives of patients."
About Allena Pharmaceuticals
Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is developing and commercializing non-systemic protein therapeutics to treat metabolic and orphan diseases, with a particular focus on nephrologic and urologic conditions. The company's proven approach enables the design and development of oral protein therapies that remain in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where the protein exerts its therapeutic effect by reducing toxic metabolites without being absorbed into the bloodstream. Led by a proven management team with deep expertise in protein therapeutic design and development, Allena is committed to bringing breakthrough new treatments to patients with unmet medical needs. Based in Newton, Mass., the company is backed by top-tier venture investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Frazier Healthcare and Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit www.allenapharma.com .
SOURCE: Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dan Budwick, 973-271-6085