Healthcare Industry News: Corixa
News Release - May 1, 2007
Solace Pharmaceuticals Raises $15M in Series A Financing; Names Senior Pfizer Executive as CEOBOSTON--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Solace Pharmaceuticals, a privately held developer of therapeutics for chronic pain, today announced $15 million in Series A financing. Polaris Venture Partners and InterWest Partners co-led the round, existing investors and founders PureTech Ventures also participated. Solace also announced that Dr. Eliot Forster, most recently Pfizer's Head of Development for Europe and Asia, has signed on as the company's CEO.
Approximately 40 million people in the United States - nearly one in five adults - suffer from chronic pain. Solace is developing innovative therapies based on groundbreaking scientific discoveries in pain biology. The company has a number of promising programs at various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development.
"Solace has a unique combination of cutting-edge science coupled with deep clinical experience. It's an exciting company and we look forward to partnering with Eliot and the team to drive it forward," said Terry McGuire, co-founder and managing general partner of Polaris Venture Partners.
Dr. Eliot Forster brings broad drug discovery and development expertise to Solace. During his tenure at Pfizer, the maker of Lyrica(TM), he was involved in the development of a number of pain drugs, including also Relpax(TM), Celebrex(TM) and Bextra(TM). As a senior executive, Dr. Foster also oversaw drug development activities across Europe and established Pfizer's development activities in Asia.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a real difference in the treatment of chronic neuropathic and inflammatory pain. I'm thrilled to be joining this exceptional team of drug development experts, in partnership with outstanding investors," said Dr. Forster.
"We are delighted to be working with Eliot and the founders of Solace," said Chris Ehrlich, partner with InterWest. "Backing the combination of a world-class drug developer alongside many of the nation's thought leaders to address an area as important as chronic pain is a fantastic opportunity."
Dr. Forster, Mr. Ehrlich and Dr. Kevin Bitterman of Polaris were named to Solace's Board of Directors, joining Solace Chairman Dr. Frank Douglas of PureTech Ventures and MIT and Ms. Daphne Zohar of PureTech Ventures, who was also Solace's founding CEO.
Solace was founded in March 2006 by PureTech Ventures and a group of renowned pain experts including Dr. Allan Basbaum, Professor and Chair of Anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Pain. Dr. Basbaum noted "The collaboration with colleagues to develop new pain therapies is extremely stimulating and I believe that Solace is uniquely positioned to help patients that currently lack treatment options. Our aim is to treat the underlying mechanistic cause of pain, not just the symptoms."
About Solace(TM) Pharmaceuticals
Solace Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (www.solacepharma.com) was founded in March, 2006 by PureTech Ventures and a group of world renowned pain experts, including Dr. Clifford Woolf (Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Solace and Professor of Anesthesia Research at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital), Dr. Allan Basbaum, Dr. Tony Yaksh (Professor of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, UCSD), Dr. Bruce Bean (Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard), Dr. Lee Simon (Harvard, former FDA Director, Analgesia Division), Dr. Joyce DeLeo (Professor of Anesthesiology & Pharmacology, Dartmouth), and Dr. Roy Freeman (Professor of Neurology, Harvard).
Solace's mission is to establish itself as a world leader in the discovery and development of innovative therapies for pain through in-house drug discovery and development programs and selected partnerships. The current development activities of Solace focus on chronic pain, a market expected to grow substantially over the next decade, including building on the recent discovery linking BH4 to chronic pain which was published in Nature Medicine. For all business development inquires, please contact Eliot Forster firstname.lastname@example.org.
About InterWest Partners:
InterWest Partners (www.interwest.com), founded in 1979, is a leading diversified venture capital firm focused on building long-term relationships with entrepreneurs and portfolio companies. Currently investing its ninth fund (IW IX), a $600 million fund, InterWest has raised more than $2 billion of capital since inception. InterWest has fifteen investing partners in Menlo Park, CA, and Dallas, TX, who bring together deep domain knowledge in life sciences and information technology.
The firm's investments in life sciences include: Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corporation (ASPV), Corixa (CRXA; acquired by GlaxoSmithKline, GSK), Epicor Medical (acquired by Saint Jude Medical, STJ), Inspire Pharmaceuticals (ISPH), IntraLase (ILSE; acquired by Advanced Medical Optics, EYE), Myogen (MYOG; acquired by Gilead, GILD), Spinal Dynamics (acquired by Medtronic, MDT) and TheraSense (THER; acquired by Abbott Labs, ABT).
About Polaris Venture Partners:
A national venture capital firm with over $3 billion under management, Polaris (www.polarisventures.com) invests in seed, early stage and growth equity businesses in the life science, technology, digital media, enertech and consumer sectors.
Through a philosophy of lead investing and active, long-term partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams, Polaris has helped a number of companies achieve outstanding success. Among them are: Accordant Health Services, Acusphere (ACUS), Advanced Inhalation Research (acquired by Alkermes), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY), Aspect Medical Systems (ASPM), Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST), deCODE genetics (DCGN), GlycoFi (acquired by Merck), Momenta Pharmaceuticals (MNTA) and TransForm Pharmaceuticals (acquired by J&J).
About PureTech Ventures:
PureTech Ventures (www.puretechventures.com) is a Boston-based venture creation firm specializing in translating breakthrough research from top tier academic institutions into therapies that will impact human health. PureTech's Partners include entrepreneurs and leaders from the top echelon of pharma, biotech and academia.
This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Such forward-looking statements reflect, among other things, management's current expectations, plans and strategies, and anticipated financial results, all of which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many of these risks are beyond our ability to control or predict including the company's need for additional funds, the company's dependence on a limited number of compounds, the early state of the products the company is developing, uncertainties relating to clinical trials and regulatory reviews, competition and dependence on collaborative partners, the company's ability to avoid infringement of the patent rights of others, and the company's ability to obtain adequate patent protection and to enforce these rights. Because of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Furthermore, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Solace Pharmaceuticals does not undertake any obligation to update or review any such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Source: Solace Pharmaceuticals
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