Healthcare Industry News: Merck
News Release - February 12, 2013
Aviir Secures Second $10 Million Financing Tranche; Attracts New Investor GroupRevenue Milestone Reached Ahead of Schedule; Financing Round to Fund US Launch and International Distribution Plans for Cardiac Risk Test
IRVINE, Calif.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)--Aviir Inc., a biotechnology company dedicated to the prevention of cardiovascular disease through innovative laboratory tests, today announced that its current investor group was joined by Partners & Partners to fund the second $10 million tranche of a total possible financing of $30 million. The financing was triggered by the companyís successful achievement of revenue milestones ahead of schedule and the final investment of $10 million will again be based on continued commercial metrics.
The proceeds will be used to fund the nationwide commercial launch of MIRISK VPô, Aviirís proprietary cardiac risk assessment technology, and additional laboratory testing services provided through Aviir Diagnostic Laboratories, based in Irvine, California. Merck Global Health Innovation Fund led the round. Merck was joined by Partners & Partners. Current investors Bay City Capital, Aberdare Ventures, and New Leaf Venture Partners also participated.
ďAviirís mission is to identify and prevent cardiovascular disease, and subsequent deaths, through blood tests that identify a patientís risk of having a heart attack within five years, combined with treatment plan recommendations,Ē said Douglas Harrington, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Aviir. ď50% of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels, but cholesterol is only part of the risk equation. More than 70% of heart attacks are caused by the rupture of unstable plaque in the arteries, which leads to clotting and heart attacks.Ē He added, ďThe MIRISK VPô test determines an individualís risk of experiencing future cardiac events, enabling them to take preventive action before it is too late. Following our early commercial success in pilot programs, the additional funding support by our existing and new investors will now allow a broad commercial launch across the US and international distribution to begin mid-year.Ē
Aviirís MIRISK VP technology consists of a simple blood test that can be ordered by doctors for their patients so they can understand their risk of experiencing a heart attack and be motivated to make therapeutic lifestyle changes. The MIRISK VP technology measures the blood levels of 7 proteins associated with the development of vulnerable plaque. It then uses a complex algorithm to analyze those results and other known risk factors to determine an individualís probability of experiencing a heart attack within the next five years. Aviir will also be offering doctors and cardiologists of these high-risk patients individualized recommendations for lifestyle changes aimed at mitigating their risk and improving their heart health. Inverness Advisors, a division of KEMA Partners LLC, acted as exclusive placement agent and Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth acted as legal counsel to Aviir for this financing and transaction.
About the MIRISK VPô Assessment
The Aviir MIRISK VP Assessment was developed out of basic research at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Researchers identified proteins associated with the biological processes underlying vulnerable plaque development and showed they could be measured in a patientís blood up to 5 years prior to a plaque rupture and the ensuing heart attack. Aviirís scientists developed sensitive multiplexed assays to measure proteins in a personís serum and an algorithm that combines the levels of those proteins with other clinical risk factors into the MIRISK VP Assessment to provide an absolute risk score for CHD risk. That algorithm has been shown in an independent study population to significantly reclassify intermediate risk individuals into their true risk category. By objectively classifying those patients at high risk, the Aviir MIRISK VP Assessment supports physicians to more effectively manage and treat this group Ė aiding in the reduction and prevention of cardiac events. Used in conjunction with other clinical information, the MIRISK VP Assessmentís easy to understand risk score for the imminent 5-year horizon may motivate compliance and behavioral changes by patients previously misidentified as intermediate risk.
Aviir was founded in 2005 by cardiologists and scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine to focus on discovery, development and commercialization of innovative diagnostic tests. The biotechnology company specializes in developing proprietary diagnostic tests to assist in identifying patients who are truly at high risk for the development of a cardiac event.
Aviirís proprietary MIRISK and MIRISK VP assessments objectively identify, using a single blood draw, individuals who are at a high risk of experiencing a cardiac event over the next five years. Aviirís CLIA certified laboratory (Irvine, CA) complements these novel tests with a wide range of additional tests for heart health assessment and therapeutic monitoring of cardiovascular disease and related metabolic disorders Ė including pharmacogenomic and genetic tests. The company has adopted a unique clinical laboratory service model to provide physicians better diagnostic tools to help improve the cardiovascular health of their patients. The company is privately owned and funded by leading life science venture capital firms. Please visit www.aviir.com for more information.
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