Healthcare Industry News: Mirna Therapeutics
News Release - April 26, 2010
Mirina Corporation Closes Series A-1 Financing Led by Versant VenturesProceeds Will Be Used to Advance Novel MicroRNA Therapeutic Candidates
SEATTLE--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Mirina Corporation, a privately held biotechnology company focused on the generation of novel microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics with improved properties, announced today that it has closed a Series A-1 financing. The round was led by new investor Versant Ventures. Previous investors Alexandria Real Estate Equities, ARCH Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners and WRF Capital also participated in the round. In conjunction with this financing, Brian Atwood, Managing Director of Versant Ventures, will join the Board of Directors. Mirina was founded in August 2008 by Accelerator Corporation, a privately held, venture capital-backed biotechnology investment and development company.
“We appreciate the strong support of our existing investors and welcome Versant Ventures to the Mirina syndicate,” said David McElligott, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at Mirina. “We’re very pleased our team at Mirina has successfully executed on its milestones over the past 20 months and has generated an impressive amount of promising data. This additional investment will allow the company to aggressively pursue moving candidates toward clinical development.”
“The Mirina team has made exceptional technical progress on its strategy of translating the potential of microRNA into therapeutic products, an important new wave of technology that will impact diseases ranging from infection to inflammation and cancer,” commented Brian Atwood, Managing Director of Versant Ventures. “Versant is very pleased to be joining the Accelerator investors in this round of financing of Mirina.”
Micro RNA (miRNA) is a newly appreciated class of small RNA molecules that regulate the expression of a larger number of human genes. Many of the genes regulated by miRNA are pivotal in normal and pathological processes. Modulation of miRNA function therefore offers a new pathway for developing drugs for serious conditions such as cancer, inflammation, fibrosis, and degenerative diseases. Mirina is developing its proprietary technology to modify the qualitative and quantitative functionality of miRNA inhibitors. Mirina has tested and demonstrated the potential of this technology both in preclinical testing and IND-enabling studies. Current efforts at Mirina are primarily focused on the selection and validation of candidate models for advanced preclinical testing and progression toward clinical development.
Founded by Accelerator Corporation in conjunction with Elitech Corporation (fka Nanogen) in 2008, Mirina Corporation develops therapeutics using Minor Groove Binder Technology (MGB) to affect cellular processes involving microRNAs. Mirina holds an exclusive license to the technology from Elitech for use in therapeutics. Elitech developed and patented novel methods for preparing oligonucleotides appended with chemical agents – that modify binding to target sequences in RNA or DNA. By incorporating this technology into Mirna Therapeutics, Mirina’s novel MGB-oligonucleotide compounds are anticipated to exhibit superior properties, such as enhanced target selectivity, better potency, and improved pharmacological activity. Mirina’s technology presents promising potential for treating a wide range of diseases including cancers, infectious disease and metabolic disorders.
About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare-focused venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments in medical devices, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, healthcare services, and healthcare information technology. The firm, founded in 1999, consists of a seasoned team of twelve managing directors with more than 130 years of venture capital investing experience and more than 150 years of operating experience.
Versant Ventures currently manages over $1.6 billion in committed capital having recently raised its fourth fund in July 2008, and is currently managing over 75 companies in its portfolio.
About Accelerator Corporation
Accelerator Corporation, founded in 2003, is a privately held biotechnology investment and development company located in Seattle, Washington, USA. The company is building the next generation of life-enhancing biotechnology companies by providing the resources critical to accelerating the development of nascent leading-edge biotechnologies. These key resources, provided by global life science leaders – Amgen Ventures; ARCH Venture Partners; OVP Venture Partners; PPD, Inc.; Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.; WRF Capital; and the Institute for Systems Biology – include committed capital from top-tier venture capital firms, state-of-the-art facilities, world-class scientific and technical expertise and support, and experienced biotechnology start-up business management and support. For more information, please go to: www.acceleratorcorp.com.
Source: Mirina Corporation
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