Avilar Therapeutics has raised additional funding with an expanded syndicate of new investors to support advancing a pipeline of first-in-class extracellular protein degraders.
The new financing takes the company’s total to $75 million. The seed round had initial funding from Avilar’s founding investor, RA Capital Management, and now includes participation by new investors Sanofi Ventures, Medical Excellence Capital (MEC), and Astellas Venture Management (AVM).
“Avilar is pioneering the next frontier in protein degradation and we are excited that our significant progress over the past year in discovering and advancing extracellular protein degraders has attracted this group of leading investors,” said Daniel Grau, CEO and president of Avilar Therapeutics.
“This financing accelerates progression of our expanding pipeline and unlocks new applications of our unique and proprietary discovery engine, positioning the company well for our next stage of growth.”
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance multiple pipeline programs targeting extracellular proteins that are known to be involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune, neurological, and other diseases yet remain poorly addressed by currently available approaches. In addition, the funding will be used to grow the company and expand the Avilar Therapeutics platform of proprietary technologies, all custom-built and tailored to designing and building extracellular protein degraders.
Paulina Hill, Partner at Sanofi Ventures, will join Avilar Therapeutics’ board of directors. Brian Halak, from MEC will join as board observer and each of Sanofi Ventures and AVM will also have a board observer seat.
“We are very pleased to welcome this seasoned group of investors to the Avilar board of directors,” said Milind Deshpande, RA Ventures venture partner, Avilar co-founder, and chairman of the Avilar Therapeutics’ board of directors.
“Their expertise in company building, capital formation, and drug development will be a tremendous resource to Avilar as the innovation leader in the new field of extracellular protein degradation.”
Avilar Therapeutics building novel class of protein degraders
Avilar Therapeutics is building a novel class of protein degraders that target disease-causing extracellular proteins, thereby extending the reach of protein degradation beyond first generation degraders that target intracellular proteins. The company is focused on the discovery and development of ATACs, or ASGPR targeting chimeras, which harness a natural process through which endogenous proteins are internalized into hepatocytes via the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR) and degraded in the endolysosome.
“We founded Avilar with the vision to build an industry leader in extracellular degradation and we are thrilled with the progress the Avilar team has made delivering on this vision,” said Josh Resnick, managing director at RA Capital and co-lead of RA Capital’s early stage company creation efforts.
“Avilar’s platform and scientific team were originally incubated at RAVen, the RA Capital incubator, and exemplify RA Capital’s world class and expanding capabilities in new company formation.”