Start-up Versartis snags $11M for upcoming trials

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Versartis, a start-up developer created late last year as a joint venture between Amunix and Index Ventures, has raised $11 million in the first close of a Series A that could later swell to $16 million. Index Ventures put up the money and has an option to add another $5 million at a later point.

Redwood City, CA-based Versartis was put into business to pursue new therapies using Amunix's recombinant PEGylation technology. The new money will be used to advance three candidates into the clinic; two therapeutic proteins for diabetes and a third candidate for growth hormone deficiency.

"We have preclinical proof-of-concept for three product candidates in the Versartis pipeline: these include exenatide and IL-1ra for diabetes, and hGH for growth hormone deficiency," said Jeffrey L. Cleland, Ph.D., the founder and CEO of Versartis. "Our results to date demonstrate the advantage of these compounds over products currently on the market or in development. We look forward to working with Amunix and Index Ventures to validate the rPEG technology as we progress our therapeutics into human clinical trials."

- read the Versartis release

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