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  • Anthera Pharmaceuticals Secures $36 Million in Venture Capital Financing

    September 14th, 2006 No comments

    Anthera Pharmaceuticals‚ a specialty pharmaceutical company developing therapies for the treatment of serious inflammatory diseases‚ recently announced it closed an initial $36 Million in venture financing. The funding was co–led by VantagePoint Venture Partners and Sofinnova Ventures and are joined by Pappas Ventures‚ Mitsubishi International Corporation‚ along with Series A–1 investors Sears Capital Management and SIM Equity. Eli Lilly and Company and Shionogi & Co.‚ Ltd. also received equity as part of Anthera’s obligations under the recently announced license agreement. Annette Bianchi‚ Managing Director‚ and co–Head of VantagePoint’s Healthcare Practice Group and Jim Healy‚ General Partner of Sofinnova Ventures were named to the Board of Directors.

    The funding will be used to initiate clinical development of Anthera’s portfolio of anti–inflammatory compounds licensed from Eli Lilly and Company and Shionogi & Co.‚ Ltd. The Company’s research programs are preparing for Phase II clinical testing in multiple indications. Anthera will initiate clinical studies later this year for the program’s lead compound A–001 as an early intervention therapy for acute chest syndrome in patients with underlying sickle cell disease – a $500 Million worldwide market opportunity.

    “We are pleased to have the support of a strong group of investors that share our confidence and excitement in the promise of this unique class of anti–inflammatory compounds‚” said Paul F. Truex‚ President and Chief Executive Officer of Anthera. “Anthera will benefit from the experience and commitment of our new investors and the management team and I look forward to partnering with them to pursue additional opportunities to enhance our portfolio.”

    “Anthera is well positioned to build an attractive portfolio and leverage the commercial potential of sPLA2‚ inhibitors in multiple indications”‚ said Annette Bianchi‚ VantagePoint Venture Partners. “We look forward to working toward this goal with our co–investors and the talented management team of Anthera.

    “Anthera is a compelling company for Sofinnova because it falls into our investment sweet spot‚” commented Sofinnova Ventures General Partner Jim Healy‚ M.D.‚ Ph.D.. “With a first rate management team and a promising drug pipeline spun off from big pharma‚ it has the same poise for success that we have experienced with some of its predecessors in the pulmonary space‚ such as Actelion‚ Intermune and CoTherix.

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