Alvine Pharmaceuticals Raises $21.5 Million Series A Extension
SAN CARLOS, CA - September 15, 2009 - Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapeutics for autoimmune/gastrointestinal diseases, today announced the closing of a $21.5 million extension of its Series A financing. New investor Panorama Capital led the financing round, joining founding investors InterWest Partners, Prospect Venture Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, Black River Asset Management and Flagship Ventures.
Proceeds from the Series A extension will fund the Company’s recently initiated Phase 2a clinical trial of its lead compound ALV003 for the treatment of celiac disease.
“This funding will support the continued development of ALV003 as an innovative protease therapy for the treatment of celiac disease, and further our goal to be the leading company in this space,” said Abhay Joshi, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Alvine. “We are pleased to have the committed support of our existing investors and to welcome our new investor, Panorama Capital, given their history of backing high quality biopharmaceutical companies.”
Concurrent with the closing of the financing, Gaurav Aggarwal, M.D. of Panorama Capital has joined Alvine’s Board of Directors.
“We are very excited to lead this investment in Alvine. It is unusual to find a company that has the combination of Alvine’s scientific expertise, seminal patent portfolio and seasoned management team, all in pursuit of a truly unmet medical need with large commercial potential,” said Dr. Aggarwal. “We are pleased to be able to support Alvine’s work to develop the first pharmaceutical therapy for celiac disease.”
About Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is the most common hereditary autoimmune disease with prevalence estimated to be as high as 1-2% in the U.S. and E.U. Intestinal inflammation in celiac disease is triggered by the ingestion of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. Gluten is a protein found naturally in wheat, rye, and barley, and is one of the most common and nutritionally significant ingredients in the human diet. Patients with celiac disease mount an immune response to gluten and gluten fragments, resulting in systemic immune-mediated damage in the gut and other organs. Gluten ingestion can be associated with symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, constipation and rash. Complications of celiac disease can include osteoporosis, anemia, dermatitis, weight loss, diabetes, central nervous system conditions including depression, autoimmune diseases and malignancies. The only available option for individuals diagnosed with celiac disease today is a life-long adherence to a strict gluten-free diet, which is difficult to follow.
Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing therapeutics for autoimmune/gastrointestinal diseases. Alvine’s lead product candidate, ALV003, is being developed to treat patients with celiac disease. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.alvinepharma.com.
ALV003 is an orally administered mixture of two recombinant proteases engineered to degrade gluten into non-immunogenic fragments, by targeting the glutamine and proline residues that are common in gluten. ALV003 consists of a glutamine specific cysteine protease (EP-B2) and a proline specific prolyl endopeptidase (PEP).
Kirk Essenmacher M.D., M.B.A.
Phone: (650) 596-2434
Vice President of Marketing, Corporate and Strategic Development