Inc., developer of novel medicines to prevent and treat infectious
and other major diseases, today announced that it has raised an
additional $13M to complete a $26M Series A financing. The
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Omega Funds participated
with the existing investors - Polaris Venture Partners, Flagship
Ventures and Lux Capital.
Proceeds will be used to further develop and validate Visterra's technology
platform and advance its proprietary infectious disease product pipeline.
The company's lead product candidate, VIS410,
is a broad spectrum antibody for the prevention and treatment of both
seasonal an pandemic influenza.
"We are very pleased to add the support from the Gates Foundation and
Omega Funds to our existing team of high quality investors," said Steven
Brugger, CEO of Visterra. "The investment from the Gates Foundation
also represents a strong commitment from a world leading foundation
which shares our mission to make a significant global impact on the
prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. We look forward to a
long and productive partnership, including collaborating on additional
programs of common interest in the future."
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made this equity investment as part
of its program-related investments (PRI) strategy, which aims to support
innovation, encourage market-driven efficiencies, and attract external
capital to promising global health and development projects. This
closing also provides for a potential additional equity investment from
Gates as its partnership with Visterra extends to other programs
supportive of its global PRI strategy.
"We are excited about this partnership with Visterra," said Trevor
Mundel, President of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation. "Our scientific team has been impressed with
Visterra's innovative approach to identify novel targets and design
novel drugs in infectious disease. We believe Visterra's technology has
broad potential application and are optimistic that our partnership will
have a meaningful impact to diseases within the foundation's priority
discovers and develops novel antibodies for the prevention and treatment
of infectious and other major diseases. The company's proprietary
antibody discovery platform generates unique structural information that
identifies novel target epitopes (sites recognized by antibodies) and
guides the design of antibodies which specifically target these epitopes
to effectively combat disease. The company's lead antibody product
is a broad spectrum monoclonal antibody for the prevention and treatment
of both seasonal and pandemic influenza. The company is building a
proprietary pipeline of novel antibodies in infectious disease, and
continuing to expand its disease area focus through strategic
partnerships in infectious and other diseases. The company announced an
antibody discovery collaboration deal with Pfizer in September, 2012.
Visterra was founded based on the scientific work of Dr. Ram
Sasisekharan at MIT, and is currently backed by Polaris Venture
Partners, Flagship Ventures, Lux Capital, the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, and Omega Funds. For more information please visit www.visterrainc.com.
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