Antiva Biosciences Closes $15 Million Series C-1 Financing
Antiva Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, topical therapeutics for the treatment of pre-cancerous lesions caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) infection, has raised $15 million in Series C-1 financing led by Hillhouse Capital Management. Sirona Capital, along with existing investors Canaan Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, Brace Pharma Capital, Osage University Partners and Lumira Capital also participated in the round. In conjunction with the financing, Hillhouse will appoint a representative to Antiva's board of directors.
Antiva is currently assessing the safety and efficacy of its lead compound, ABI-1968, in two Phase 1b clinical studies. One study involves intravaginal delivery of topical ABI-1968 to women with high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN 2,3). CIN is a precancerous condition caused by HPV in which abnormal cell growth occurs on the surface of the cervix. The second study is assessing the use of topical ABI-1968 in high grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN 2,3). There are currently no FDA-approved drugs for either of these indications.
"We are seeing encouraging results in our ongoing clinical trials," said Gail Maderis, president and CEO of Antiva. "This funding will support additional clinical studies in both indications over the next year, positioning us for strong Phase 2 studies in the second half of 2019. We welcome Hillhouse to our board and look forward to benefiting from their expertise and relationships in the Chinese pharmaceutical industry. China is a strategic market for Antiva, given the high incidence and death rate from cervical cancer in China."
HPV is an oncogenic virus responsible for 5% of all cancers worldwide and for almost all cases of cervical cancer. Globally, over 250,000 women die of cervical cancer each year; in some countries, cervical cancer is the number one cancer in women in both incidence and death. The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated screening and treatment of precancerous lesions to prevent cervical cancer a "Best Buy" intervention, prompting many countries to implement national screening and treatment programs. ABI-1968 has the potential to fit the WHO's "Screen and Treat" strategy: a self-administered product capable of treating all stages of CIN and effective against all strains of HPV.
Hillhouse's healthcare team expressed, "We are eager to leverage our global experience to assist Antiva in developing a topical therapy that has the potential to help millions of men and women across the world. We believe in Antiva's mission and are excited to partner with a talented team."
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SOURCE Antiva Biosciences