Virdante Pharmaceuticals raises $47.75 Million

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Bangalore: Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Virdante Pharmaceuticals has raised new funding to bring its Series A round to $47.75 million. The new round was led by Thomas, McNerney and Partners with participation by Osage Partners, along with previous investors Clarus Ventures, Venrock, MedImmune Ventures and Biogen Idec New Ventures.

With this latest funding round, the company schedules to continue development of antibody-based drugs that have better anti-inflammatory activity, to better treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Founded in 2007, the company claims its products incorporate a proprietary "Sialic Switch" technology to improve the anti-inflammatory properties of antibodies. "Our business model is to develop and commercialize a proprietary pipeline of biopharmaceuticals and to apply our technology to development candidates from a select group of corporate partners," said John Ripple, CEO of Virdante Pharmaceuticals.

According to Virdante, its proprietary Sialic Switch technology increases the anti-inflammatory activity of antibody-based drugs by enhancing signaling via a novel pathway. It has licensed the Sialic Switch technology from The Rockefeller University and established a strategic research alliance with Dr. Ravetch's Laboratory to continue to explore this novel anti-inflammatory pathway. Dr. Ravetch has further shown that these anti-inflammatory properties can be reproduced with a fully recombinant preparation of appropriately sialylated IgG Fc fragments (sFc), providing a more efficacious and potent treatment at lower dose levels. Virdante is using enzymatic methods to apply the Sialic Switch technology to antibody-based therapeutics.

Ripple said, "The leadership team at Virdante is committed to rapidly achieving human proof of concept for the broad applications of our Sialic Switch technology by advancing our lead sIVIG development candidate into the clinic." Rajeev Chillakuru is the Vice President of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the company.

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