Santiago, Chile. – March 15, 2010. Andes Biotechnologies S.A. (www.andesbio.com), announced today the successful closing of its first corporate funding round. The series A funding follows the successful spin-off of the company after acquiring key patents on non-coding mitochondrial RNA technology from GrupoBios S.A. (www.grupobios.com), Chile´s largest biotechnology company.
The round, which netted US$4 million, will allow Andes to pursue its plans to advance novel oncological therapies based on mitochondrial RNAs to the clinic. Participating investors in the financing round were the venture capital firms Aurus Bios and Austral Capital. Alex Seelenberger, Aurus Bios’ Fund Manager mentioned: “we are pleased to invest in such an innovative company that has all the right ingredients for our Life Sciences fund. We believe that this technology has the potential to completely revolutionize the way the war on Cancer has been fought to date”. Similarly, Austral Capital’s General Partner, Felipe Camposanoadded “Andes is a company with global potential, a breakthrough technology and managed by a worldclass team”.
The founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Luis Burzio has led the company’s research to develop a family of anti-cancer drugs. The breakthrough here is based on the discovery of a novel family of RNA targets of mitochondrial origin, that when inactivated by means of antisense or RNA interference (RNAi) technologies, selectively destroy cancer cells without affecting normal cells. Dr. Pablo Valenzuela, founder and chairman of the Board said: “The race for safe and effective drugs against Cancer is a worldwide quest, and with Andes’ core technology, we have a chance to become a significant contributor to the fight against leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and melanoma amongst other types of Cancer”
Andes’ CEO, Cristian Hernandez-Cuevas referred to this venture as “…the beginning of an exciting adventure where a biotechnology company from an unexpected place -like Chile- can play a significant role in the fight against Cancer”. Andes’ efforts will be focused on continuing its studies of efficacy in Cancer animal models and toxicology to obtain data required for a future application for human clinical testing under de Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Investigational New Drug or IND process. The IND process requires testing the new therapies in small and large animals to provide guidance on the safety and efficacy of the potential treatment.
About Andes Biotechnologies (www.andesbio.com)
The aim of Andes Biotechnologies is to carry out research and development of new anticancer therapies based on the inactivation of novel non-coding mitochondrial RNA targets through anti-sense and/or RNAi technology. Andes has a portfolio of 9 patent applications in key markets around the world, covering the diagnostic and therapeutic uses of non-coding mitochondrial RNA oligonucleotides which have the potential of selectively eliminating tumor cells without harming normal cells in many Cancer types. The company has a management team with extensive experience in drug development and biotechnology research, which has successfully developed, patented and registered products currently marketed in the U.S. and Europe.
About Aurus Bios (www.aurus.cl)