Healthcare Industry News:  Altair Therapeutics 

Biopharmaceuticals Venture Capital

 News Release - December 18, 2007

Forward Ventures Joins Series A Syndicate for Newly Formed Altair Therapeutics

SAN DIEGO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Forward Ventures announced today that it has joined the financing syndicate for Altair Therapeutics, Inc., a new venture capital-funded biotechnology company created to focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of antisense drugs to treat asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Altair is developing AIR645 (ISIS 369645), an inhaled inhibitor of the IL-4/IL-13 signaling pathways for the treatment of asthma, which continues to be an area of unmet medical need. Altair in-licensed the compound from Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS ) and the two companies will collaborate to discover drugs directed to other promising targets for the treatment of respiratory conditions.

“Altair has an extraordinary opportunity to transform the treatment of respiratory diseases,” said Joel Martin, Ph.D., partner at Forward Ventures. “Thomas, McNerney & Partners and Isis Pharmaceuticals did a superb job in assembling a new company with talent, programs and intellectual property typically seen in a much more mature company.” Dr. Martin will join Altair’s board of directors.

“We are delighted to have Forward Ventures join us and look forward to working with Joel Martin in building the company,” said Pratik Shah, Ph.D., executive chairman of Altair Therapeutics and partner at Thomas, McNerney & Partners.

About Altair Therapeutics

Altair was founded by Thomas, McNerney & Partners and is building a dedicated team, combining antisense drug discovery expertise with respiratory drug development expertise, to focus solely on the development and commercialization of antisense drugs for the treatment of asthma and other respiratory conditions. More information on Altair is available at:

About Forward Ventures

Forward Ventures, founded in 1993, has a team of investment professionals with extensive experience in life-science venture capital and operations. Forward has invested in 56 companies and currently has approximately $500 million in capital under management. The most recent fund, Forward V, continues Forward Ventures’ program of venture investing in biopharmaceutical and medical device companies of all stages. For more information, please visit:

About Thomas, McNerney & Partners

Thomas, McNerney & Partners is a health care venture capital firm with approximately $600 million under management focused on investing in life science and medical technology companies at all stages of development. In addition to helping entrepreneurs launch companies with seed and early stage funding, the firm provides growth capital to emerging companies to advance clinical development or for product commercialization. Thomas, McNerney & Partners also is involved in spinning out products and divisions from major medical device and pharmaceutical companies, consolidating companies through roll-up strategies and participating in structured financings for public companies as well as recapitalizations. The firm is targeting investments in the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology and diagnostic sectors and in other areas utilizing medical technology innovation. The firm has offices in Stamford, Minneapolis and San Francisco. For further information, please visit

Source: Forward Ventures

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