REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - January 15, 2013) - Versartis, Inc., an emerging biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics for patients with endocrine disorders, today announced completion of a $25 million Series C financing lead by new investor Aisling Capital. With their investment, Aisling Capital Partner Anthony Sun, MD, has joined the Versartis Board of Directors. Also participating in this round were existing investors Index Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners and Advent Venture Partners' Advent Life Sciences fund. The primary use of the proceeds will be to fund clinical trials of its lead product, VRS-317, for growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in pediatric patients. VRS-317 is a proprietary once monthly form of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH).
Aisling Capital's Dr. Sun commented, "We are very excited to participate in this financing, because VRS-317 has demonstrated tremendous potential as a long-acting form of growth hormone treatment. We are also pleased to join the existing investors and experienced management team to further develop VRS-317 to address key unmet needs in the treatment of patients with growth hormone deficiency."
In October 2012 the company began its first pediatric clinical trial of VRS-317 in pre-pubertal children with Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD). The Versartis Trial In Children to Assess Long-Acting Growth Hormone (VERTICAL) study is being conducted in approximately 30 sites in the United States and was initiated following the successful completion of a Phase I study in adults with GHD. The VERTICAL study is designed in two stages: the first stage (Phase Ib) utilizes an ascending-dose design to evaluate the safety and tolerability of up-to-four dosing levels of a single subcutaneous (SC) dose of VRS-317. The second stage (Phase 2a) will further study these patients to determine the efficacy of VRS-317 as defined by an increase in height velocity over six months of treatment.
Versartis Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey L. Cleland, PhD, stated, "With this substantial funding we are able to continue our comprehensive development program for VRS-317, including obtaining proof-of-concept efficacy results and preparing for the launch of a Phase 3 trial in 2014."
Versartis, Inc. is a biotechnology company developing therapeutics for the treatment of endocrine disorders. The company's lead product candidate is VRS-317, a once monthly form of human growth hormone. Versartis is pursuing the development of new therapeutic proteins utilizing the proprietary Amunix half-life extension XTEN technology. XTEN is a novel hydrophilic sequence of natural amino acids and is expressed as a fusion protein with a therapeutically active peptide or protein. New compounds developed by Versartis using the XTEN technology are expected to provide improved therapeutic outcomes such as enhanced efficacy/compliance, fewer side effects, prolonged half-life (up to monthly dosing), as well as low-cost production and enhanced stability. Further information on Versartis can be found at www.versartis.com.
About Aisling Capital
Aisling Capital is a dedicated life sciences private equity firm with over US $1.6 billion under management. Headquartered in New York, Aisling Capital invests in both private and public companies utilizing a wide variety of investment structures. The Aisling Capital team's combination of clinical, operational and financial experience allows the firm to identify, execute and realize investments across the life sciences industry.