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Versartis pockets $25M C round as it looks to PhII growth hormone study

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Redwood City, CA-based startup Versartis has nailed a $25 million C round designed to fuel its journey into midstage work on a lead drug for endocrine disorders, leaving it positioned at the threshold of a late-stage program next year. New investor Aisling Capital led the round with assistance from Index Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners and Advent Venture Partners.

The VCs have been drawn in to support the development work on VRS-317, a long-acting growth hormone now in a dose-ascending Phase Ib trial. A Phase IIa pediatric trial is planned to determine the efficacy of the drug, measuring an increase in "height velocity" over 6 months.  

"With this substantial funding we are able to continue our comprehensive development program for VRS-317, including obtaining proof-of-concept efficacy results and preparing for the launch of a Phase 3 trial in 2014," says Versartis CEO Jeffrey L. Cleland in a statement.

Versartis is banking on a drug-development platform it believes can create new therapies that are more efficacious with fewer side effects than currently used drugs. The biotech also says these new products can be manufactured for a lower cost than current standards.

Versartis landed a $21 million venture round just as it was headed into Phase I a year ago.

- here's the press release

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Versartis grabs $21M Series B, aims to begin study of once-monthly hormone therapy