Viamet gets Big Pharma support in $18M round

The venture arms of two big pharma companies co-led an $18 million Series B for Viamet Pharmaceuticals. That money will be put to use advancing Viamet's technology platform for shutting down metalloenzymes--enzymes that need metal present to start a chemical reaction--which play a key role in disease.

Novartis Option Fund and Lilly Ventures co-led the round, joining Intersouth Partners, Hatteras Venture Partners, Lurie Investment Fund and Astellas Venture Management. The company was co-founded by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Viamet is based in Research Triangle Park.

"Metalloenzymes are well-recognized targets for therapeutic intervention," said new board member Ed Torres. "Viamet's Metallophile Technology represents a paradigm shift that has the potential to deliver markedly improved inhibitors of this large and commercially validated class of enzymes. Lilly Ventures invests in companies with promising technologies that have the potential to generate multiple, "best-in-class" products and we believe that Viamet represents just such an opportunity."

- see Viamet's release

ALSO: The UK's Novacta Biosystems has rounded up $14.17 million in a new round led by Celtic Pharma. Novacta is researching new antibiotics. Release