Healthcare Industry News: Genomic Health
News Release - January 8, 2007
Juvaris Announces First Round Closing of Series A FinancingKleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Pandemic & Biodefense Fund Sole Investor in First of Two $6 Million Rounds
PLEASANTON, Calif., Jan. 8 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Juvaris BioTherapeutics, a private company, today announced it has closed the first of two rounds of a Series A financing with a $6 million investment from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Pandemic & Biodefense Fund. The second closing will occur within 120 days from the date of the first closing, bringing the total Series A Round to $12 million.
The funds will enable the Company to advance its lead vaccine products for influenza and pneumonia indications to clinical trials. The Company will also pursue immunotherapy products for Hepatitis B and Biodefense applications. The funds permitted the Company to close asset purchase agreements negotiated with Valentis. The purchased assets include relevant intellectual property that had been the subject of a worldwide exclusive license and a fully operational 10,800 sq. ft. manufacturing plant in Burlingame, CA. As part of this transaction, Juvaris has hired seven former Valentis employees engaged in production and QA/QC activities.
In commenting on the investment, Juvaris Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO Martin D. Cleary said, "There could not have been a more favorable outcome for our program, employees and shareholders than to have KPCB take this investment interest in Juvaris. Their long-term view and willingness to help guide our strategic direction has already made a major contribution to our effort. Together we will build a very successful company."
In commenting for the KPCB Pandemic & Biodefense Fund, Partner Thomas P. Monath M.D. recently appointed to Juvaris' Board of Directors said, "The Juvaris team has done a superb job of demonstrating the potential of their proprietary adjuvant and immunotherapeutic platform for multiple disease targets. With the acquisition of manufacturing assets from Valentis, the Company can now rapidly progress to clinical proof of concept."
Juvaris BioTherapeutics was created in 2003 to develop an immunotherapeutic product platform for the treatment of infectious diseases and cancers using lipid-DNA complexes. Cationic lipids are formulated with non-coding DNA (plasmid) to create the JuvImmune Immunostimulant, a lipid-DNA complex, which as a single product will have utility in multiple infectious disease and cancer applications. The JuvImmune product has been shown to be at least 50-times more potent at triggering innate immune activation and interferon release than current immune stimulants.
When combined with disease-specific antigens, the technology creates JuvaVax vaccines capable of activating substantial antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses, particularly induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). Immunological responses elicited by the lipid-DNA complexes have been successfully demonstrated in both prophylactic and therapeutic settings in a variety of mammals including rodents, rabbits, cats, dogs and non-human primates. Moreover, substantial immune responses have been induced following oral and intranasal administration. This platform provides the opportunity to develop many disease-specific immunotherapy products, for which there are significant unmet medical needs.
In January 2006, the Company announced the award of a two-year Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the NIH for the development of an influenza A virus vaccine. In March 2006, the Company announced the award of an 18-month Small Business Innovation Research-Advanced Technology (SBIR-AT) grant from NIAID for the development of an HIV vaccine, and in September 2006, the Company announced the award of a two-year biodefense SBIR grant from NIAID for the development of an immunotherapeutic treatment for Tularemia. Recently, the Company announced the award of an SBIR grant from the National Cancer Institute for the development of a vaccine for leukemia.
About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in 475 ventures, including AOL, Align, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Hybritech, IDEC Pharmaceuticals, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, Nuvasive, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Verisign and Xilinx. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm's portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions. KPCB has broadly invested in both life sciences and information technology since inception in 1972. In the last six years, KPCB has expanded its focus to include Greentech and pandemic preparedness.
Source: Juvaris BioTherapeutics
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