Healthcare Industry News:  metabolic disease 

Biopharmaceuticals Venture Capital

 News Release - April 2, 2009

Traversa Therapeutics Completes Series B Financing

Company Continues to Advance toward the Clinic with Novel RNA Interference Technologies

LA JOLLA, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Traversa Therapeutics, a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel RNA interference (RNAi) technologies, announced today the successful completion of its Series B financing, raising $5 million. The financing was led by Morningside Venture Investments Ltd., and joined by Mesa Verde Venture Partners and existing investors.

Proceeds from the investment will support the advancement of Traversa’s RNAi oncology programs into clinical trials. “We are pleased to have completed this financing and are thrilled at the level of industry support that we are receiving,” said Hans A. Petersen, MBA, Traversa’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “These funds, in conjunction with pending collaboration and licensing revenue will provide the company with two years of operating cash, and will enable Traversa to begin its first Phase I clinical trial.”

“RNAi continues to show promise as a new drug class in the fields of oncology, infectious diseases, metabolic diseases and ophthalmology. We are very pleased to continue supporting Traversa’s development efforts through this investment,” said Isaac S. Cheng, M.D. of Morningside. In conjunction with the financing, Dr. Cheng has joined Traversa’s board of directors representing Series B shareholders.

“It has become clear in the field of RNAi that delivery is the rate limiting step. Traversa’s siRNA and DsiRNA delivery technologies provide a novel, effective and non-toxic alternative to liposomal delivery in vivo,” said Francois Ferre, Ph.D., Traversa Director.

About Traversa

Traversa Therapeutics, Inc. (www.traversathera.com) is a La Jolla, California-based biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of RNAi anti-cancer therapeutics. The company strives to rapidly advance siRNA and DsiRNA platform delivery technologies for use in its internal oncology programs and by other pharmaceutical companies in targeting a wide variety of acute, chronic and infectious human diseases.

About Morningside

Morningside (www.morningside.com) 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 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.

About Mesa Verde Venture Partners

Mesa Verde Venture Partners' (www.mesaverdevp.com) 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 Ventures is the lead investor behind Mesa Verde Venture Partners.


Source: Traversa Therapeutics

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