Savara Pharmaceuticals has managed to secure $11.4 million from investors towards the Phase II study of the company’s AeroVanc medicine. According to Fierce Biotech, orphan drug AeroVanc is being touted as “a reformulation of vancomycin which Savara describes as the first inhaled antibiotic now being developed for MRSA infections in cystic fibrosis patients.” The emerging biotech firm based in Austin, Texas, has rounded up the cash from an unlikely group of donors that includes Tech Coast Angels, Central Texas Angel Network, The Keiretsu Forum, and the North Texas Angel Network. The NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has also reportedly provided the company with a $4 million grant.
Sergio Gurrieri was the Tech Coast Angels lead for the deal to bring together financing for the Phase II study. The FB article further states:
The new money will get the company through the Phase II and into late 2014, giving the company enough time to decide whether it will need a Phase IIb or would have the opportunity to go straight into a late-stage pivotal study. It would also give Savara–run by a virtual crew of 7–some time to check out the possibilities of organizing a more traditional venture group to finance the company as well as scout a partnership.
The Fierce Biotech article also goes on to detail Savara’s unique funding strategy including turning to global CMOs and CROs. Funding the Phase II of AeroVanc with angel money is also seen as quite ground breaking: “Completing a Series B of this size with 100% angel money is a major accomplishment,” Gurrieri explains of the Savara deal. “It demonstrates TCA’s increasing effectiveness at syndicating deals with other angel networks to raise larger rounds and drive innovation.” Members of TCA not only invest in start-up companies in industries ranging from biotech and the life sciences to Internet, media, and consumer products, but also provide advice, mentoring, and help companies to develop networks of potential partners, customers, and investors.
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