Virdante boosts first venture round to $48M

Virdante Pharmaceuticals has received a fresh injection of capital, raising its total Series A to $47.75 million. That money will be used to further its work on boosting the effectiveness of antibodies in reducing inflammation while keeping the immune system in shape to ward off infectious invaders. Virdante plans to use the technology to fine tune existing antibodies and advance new programs of its own.

Virdante licensed in work completed by Rockefeller University's Jeffrey Ravetch, who has built a reputation for his work on the anti-inflammatory effects of immunoglobulin antibodies.

"Virdante's Sialic Switch technology represents a breakthrough in the understanding and modulation of the inflammatory response that can be applied to human antibody therapeutics, which make up a significant and growing share of the global pharmaceutical market," commented Eric Aguiar, M.D., a partner at Thomas, McNerney & Partners. "Dr. Ravetch's work suggests that this technology could have a significant impact on the $4 billion market for plasma-derived IVIG products. We believe the Sialic Switch technology also has the potential to improve antibodies that exploit other anti-inflammatory pathways for a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases."

Thomas, McNerney & Partners led the round with participation by Osage Partners. Previous investors Clarus Ventures, Venrock, MedImmune Ventures and Biogen Idec New Ventures all put fresh cash into Virdante, which had been named Centaurus Pharmaceuticals.

- check out Virdante's release
- read the Xconomy article

ALSO: Activaero GmbH announced today that it has closed on a $16 million Series A. Release