Annovation Biopharma raises $8M to develop novel anesthetics

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 08:00 AM

Annovation Biopharma, a biotech focused on safer therapies for anesthesia, has raised $8 million in a Series A financing led by Atlas Venture, Partners Innovation Fund (PIF) and new strategic investor The Medicines Company. 

The funding, which may be expanded up to $11 million, is expected to enable pre-clinical development through clinical proof of concept of Annovation's lead, next generation novel anesthetic, based on technology from Dr. Douglas Raines's laboratory in the department of anesthesia, critical care and pain medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

"The early funding of Annovation reflects a unique set of partnerships giving us access to acute care innovators," said David Grayzel, managing director of Atlas Venture Development, who will serve as executive chairman of Annovation. "We have combined venture creation and virtual development expertise from AVDC, technology from MGH/PIF and the hospital biopharmaceuticals leadership of The Medicines Company into a company focused on achieving clinical proof of concept in a capital efficient manner."

Annovation's novel agents are designed to allow more precise control of anesthesia and enable safer treatment of patients undergoing surgical procedures. These drugs may also allow patients to emerge from anesthesia and transition from post-operative care more quickly. An initial seed investment last year led by PIF, Mass Medical Angels and Atlas allowed the nascent technology to quickly proceed to its current stage.

Annovation expects to begin clinical studies in the first half of next year with the objective of demonstrating clinical proof of concept (POC). Upon completion of the POC study, MDCO will have the option to acquire the company at pre-negotiated terms including milestones and royalties.

"The Medicines Company's funding of Annovation provides access to emerging hospital technology with seed investment and optionality, reserving our research and development investments for our late stage pipeline," Scott Johnson, chief medical advisor at MDCO.  "With our experience in operating suites worldwide, we are excited by the opportunity this class of agents has for substantially improving patient care and serving our purpose to save lives, alleviate suffering and improve the economic efficiency of hospitals worldwide."

Joining the Annovation board of directors will be Jean-Francois Formela from Atlas Venture, Jason Campagna from The Medicines Company and Carl Berke from PIF.

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