Therapy Areas: Devices
Avilar Therapeutics Increases Financing to USD 75m to Advance Pipeline of Novel Extracellular Protein Degraders
17 February 2023 - - US-based biopharmaceutical company Avilar Therapeutics has raised additional funding with an expanded syndicate of new investors to support advancing a pipeline of first-in-class extracellular protein degraders, the company said.

The new financing is an upsize to USD 75m of the seed round that had initial funding from Avilar's founding investor, RA Capital Management, and now includes participation by new investors Sanofi Ventures, Medical Excellence Capital, and Astellas Venture Management.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance multiple pipeline programs targeting extracellular proteins that are known to be involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune, neurological, and other diseases yet remain poorly addressed by currently available approaches.

In addition, the funding will be used to grow the company and expand the Avilar platform of proprietary technologies, all custom-built and tailored to designing and building extracellular protein degraders.

Concurrent with this financing, Paulina Hill, PhD, Partner at Sanofi Ventures, will join Avilar's board of directors.

Brian Halak, PhD, from MEC will join as board observer and each of Sanofi Ventures and AVM will also have a board observer seat.

Avilar is building a novel class of protein degraders that target disease-causing extracellular proteins, thereby extending the reach of protein degradation beyond first generation degraders that target intracellular proteins.

The company is focused on the discovery and development of ATACs, or ASGPR Targeting Chimeras, which harness a natural process through which endogenous proteins are internalized into hepatocytes via the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR) and degraded in the endolysosome.

Avilar Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery and development of extracellular protein degraders, a new frontier in targeted protein degradation.

Avilar develops ATACs (ASGPR Targeting Chimeras), a new class of protein degraders that shuttle disease-causing proteins from circulation to the endolysosome where the unwanted proteins are degraded.

Avilar has built a proprietary discovery platform that includes novel, high-affinity, small molecule ASGPR ligands and advanced modeling of the biophysics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of ATAC mediated endocytosis and degradation.

This platform enables the modular design and synthesis of ATACs extendable across the extracellular proteome to a wide range of proteins involved in the pathogenesis of human diseases.

Avilar is leveraging its ATAC platform to create a broad and diverse pipeline of first-in-class extracellular protein degraders. Avilar is based in Waltham, MA.

RA Capital Management is a multi-stage investment manager dedicated to evidence-based investing in public and private healthcare and life science companies that are developing drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics.

The flexibility of its strategy allows RA Capital to provide seed funding to startups and to lead private, IPO, and follow-on financings for its portfolio companies, allowing management teams to drive value creation from inception through commercialization.

Sanofi Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Sanofi. Sanofi Ventures invests in early-stage biotech and digital health companies with innovative ideas and transformative new products and technologies of strategic interest to Sanofi.

Among these areas are oncology, immunology, rare diseases, vaccines, potential cures in other core areas of Sanofi's business footprint, and digital health solutions.

Medical Excellence Capital is an early-stage life sciences venture fund that uniquely combines a proprietary global network of leading physician scientists with a team of experienced investment professionals, company builders, and operators.

Astellas Venture Management is the wholly-owned venture capital organization within Astellas, dedicated to supporting pre-clinical, cutting-edge science that can bring VALUE to patients.

For over 15 years, AVM has provided equity investments to private, early-stage companies developing therapeutic programs and platform technologies, helping them to advance their innovations faster.

AVM is a strategic investor, making investments in science that will enhance the current Astellas R&D pipeline or that could catalyze new directions in discovery research.


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