Auspex Pharmaceuticals Announces Series B Financing

Auspex Pharmaceuticals Announces Series B Financing; Appointment of Ajit Gill as President and Chief Executive Officer

VISTA, Calif. -- Auspex Pharmaceuticals, a developer of next-generation medicines with improved safety and performance through the targeted deuteration of clinically validated drugs, today announced a $13.875 million Series B financing led by Thomas, McNerney & Partners with participation from co-investors CMEA Ventures and Costa Verde Capital. The company also announced that pharmaceutical industry veteran Ajit Gill has joined Auspex as President and Chief Executive Officer.

In conjunction with the financing, Pratik Shah, Ph.D., Partner at Thomas, McNerney & Partners, and David J. Collier, M.D., Managing Director at CMEA Ventures, have joined the Auspex Board of Directors.

“Auspex was founded in 2001 and is the first company to apply targeted deuteration to existing drugs and clinically validated drug candidates as a means of improving their safety and performance as therapeutics,” said Pratik Shah. “They have created a strong intellectual property position across multiple therapeutic areas, and have quickly generated several clinical candidates addressed to significant market opportunities. The company has achieved notable progress in all areas of its business, and with the appointment of an experienced CEO, Ajit Gill, we are looking forward to building a substantial drug development enterprise.”

“Auspex has been working for over five years to build a leadership position in the application of targeted deuteration of pharmaceuticals to meet specific clinical and market needs,” said Ajit Gill. “This is an exciting time in the company’s evolution as it advances multiple compounds toward the clinic, and I am very pleased to join the Auspex team. I believe the company’s technology and business strategy have the potential not only to produce best-in-class drugs, but to do so while lowering time, risk and cost of drug development.”

Ajit Gill, President and CEO

Ajit Gill is an experienced pharmaceutical development executive who oversaw operations at Nektar Therapeutics (previously Inhale Therapeutic Systems) for 14 years, including eight as Chief Executive Officer. During that period, he led the company’s successful transition from a pulmonary delivery company, focused on protein and peptide delivery, to a specialty pharmaceutical company with multiple marketed products incorporating the company’s technologies. Prior to joining Inhale, Mr. Gill worked for many years in the computer business in a variety of roles in general management, finance, business development and operations.

With the recruitment of Mr. Gill, Auspex Founder and former CEO, Sepehr Sarshar, Ph.D., has assumed the position of Auspex’s Chief Technology Officer.

About Auspex Pharmaceuticals

Auspex Pharmaceuticals, founded in 2001, is a developer of next-generation medicines with improved safety and performance and a pioneer in the targeted application of deuterium chemistry to clinically validated drugs. For more than five years the company has worked to apply its targeted deuteration strategy to drug molecules across multiple therapeutic areas, secure a proprietary position on several hundred compounds and initiate development on multiple clinical candidates. Auspex believes its approach can rapidly generate potential best-in-class therapeutics for significant markets, while reducing the time, cost and risk of drug development. For more information on Auspex Pharmaceuticals, please visit the company’s website at