Ascenta gins $50M in third round

Ascenta Therapeutics has raised $50 million in its third round of venture financing to back its research into new cancer therapies. Perseus led the round, which provides $30 million up front and another $20 million as the company hits a series of milestones. Much of that money will go to advance AT-101, an oral pan-Bcl-2 inhibitor, through Phase 2 clinical trials in several cancers.

Based in San Diego, Ascenta also has a research facility in Shanghai. Its technology is licensed from both the National Institutes of Health and the laboratory of Dr. Shaomeng Wang at the University of Michigan, is focused on discovering molecules that hit vulnerable targets in endogenous apoptosis pathways and shut down cell growth and proliferation in cancer cells.

- check out the release on the round