Versartis, Inc., a Mountain View, CA-based biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics for patients with endocrine disorders, completed a $21m Series B financing.
The round was led by New Leaf Venture Partners, with participation from Advent Venture Partners’ Advent Life Sciences fund as well as existing investors Index Ventures and Amunix.
Versartis plans to use the proceeds primarily to conduct clinical trials of its lead product, VRS-317, for growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in both adult and pediatric patients. VRS-317 is a once monthly form of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH).
The company is pursuing the development of new therapeutic proteins utilizing the Amunix novel half-life extension XTEN technology, a hydrophilic sequence of natural amino acids. It is expressed as a fusion protein with a therapeutically active peptide or protein.
New compounds developed by Versartis using the XTEN technology are expected to provide improved therapeutic outcomes such as enhanced efficacy/compliance, fewer side effects, prolonged half-life (up to monthly dosing), as well as low-cost production and enhanced stability.
The company also expanded its Board of Directors to five members now including:
– Srini Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D., Managing Director, New Leaf Venture Partners;
– Kevin Johnson, Ph.D., Partner, Index Ventures;
– Shahzad Malik, General Partner, Advent Venture Partners;
– Willem “Pim” Stemmer, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Amunix;
– Jeffrey L. Cleland, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Versartis, Inc.