Healthcare Industry News:   T cells 

Biopharmaceuticals Venture Capital

 News Release - February 4, 2008

Traversa Raises $2M to Advance RNAi Delivery in Angel-Led Series A Financing

LA JOLLA, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Traversa Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held developer of RNAi delivery technologies, announced today the completion of a $2 million Series A financing led by the San Diego Tech Coast Angels and joined by investors Mesa Verde Venture Partners and Morningside Group.

Traversa was founded with technology developed by Professor Steven F. Dowdy, Ph.D., and his research group at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) relating to siRNA delivery and the induction of RNA Interference (RNAi).

“There is a great need for novel short interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery platforms. This technology has shown outstanding delivery characteristics in pre-clinical models, as well as in vitro delivery to nearly all cell types and entire cell populations assayed in a non-cytotoxic fashion. These cell types include primary cells, T cells, B cells, Macrophage, huESC and tumor cells, where other delivery approaches have failed,” noted Dr. Dowdy, co-founder of Traversa.

“We are very pleased with the impact that our investors have already made in developing new opportunities for the company,” said Hans A. Petersen, President and CEO of Traversa. “The technology has received an outstanding level of interest for use with human therapeutics, and as a high throughput screening reagent, providing the company with both long-term growth prospects and a short-term revenue stream to augment this financing. Traversa is currently being evaluated by several large pharmaceutical companies to treat diseases of the eye and nose, metabolic diseases, cancer and infectious diseases.”

Dr. Francois Ferre, co-CEO of Althea Technologies and lead angel investor, has joined the board. Both Dan Wood of Mesa Verde Venture Partners and Roger Flugel of Sanderling Ventures are board observers. Sanderling Ventures and a Morningside Group entity are limited partners of Mesa Verde Venture Partners.

About Traversa

Traversa Therapeutics, Inc. is a La Jolla, California-based biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of RNAi delivery technologies. The company strives to rapidly advance siRNA platform delivery technologies for use internally and by other pharmaceutical companies in targeting a wide variety of acute, chronic and infectious human diseases. Traversa also markets its technology for high throughput RNAi screening applications.

About the San Diego Tech Coast Angels

San Diego Tech Coast Angels is a group of private investors who invest in and assist early-stage, Southern California companies. It is the San Diego network of the Southern California-based Tech Coast Angels organization, which also has networks in Santa Monica and Newport Beach.

About Mesa Verde Venture Partners

Mesa Verde Venture Partners' charter is to invest in a diversified portfolio of early-stage biotechnology and medical technology companies in the southwest. Areas of focus include drug discovery/tools, medical devices and diagnostics and healthcare information technology. Mesa Verde Venture Partners is the successor fund to IngleWood Ventures of San Diego. Sanderling is the lead investor behind Mesa Verde Venture Partners.

About Morningside Group

Morningside Group ( is a diversified investment group founded in 1986 by the Chan family of Hong Kong. It is engaged primarily in private equity and venture capital investments. The group has investments in North America, Europe, across Asia-Pacific, and since 1992, in Mainland China. Morningside Group was one of the earliest institutional investors in China's internet industry and in recent years has been an active investor in China's emerging biotechnology sector.

Source: Traversa Therapeutics

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