Anthera Pharmaceuticals has raised $36 million in venture financing, much of which will be devoted to the clinical development of its newly-licensed anti-inflammatory compounds. In particular, Anthera plans to start a Phase II trial of A-001 as an early intervention therapy for acute chest syndrome in patients with underlying sickle cell disease. San Francisco-based Anthera announced its licensing deal with Eli Lilly and Shionogi just a week ago. VantagePoint Venture Partners and Sofinnova Ventures led the round and were joined by Pappas Ventures, Mitsubishi International Corporation, along with Series A-1 investors Sears Capital Management and SIM Eq.
"Anthera is a compelling company for Sofinnova because it falls into our investment sweet spot," commented Sofinnova Ventures General Partner Jim Healy, who is joining the board. "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."
- here's the release on Anthera's round
PLUS: NuPathe of Conshohocken, PA has raised $15 million in its first round, led by Birchmere Ventures of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and BioAdvance Ventures, an early-stage venture fund managed by Quaker BioVentures. Release