Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc., a Calabasas, Calif.-based developer of aesthetic medicines, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. JAFCO led the round, and was joined by BBT Capital Management/Apothecary Capital, PFM and return backers Versant Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Prospect Venture Partners, Altitude Life Science Ventures and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati. Kythera has now raised around $61 million in total venture capital.
Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Kythera”), a privately-held biotechnology company, announced a $40 million C round financing led by new investor JAFCO Co. Ltd. Other new investors include BBT Capital Management/Apothecary Capital and PFM. Also participating were existing investors Versant Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Prospect Venture Partners, Altitude Life Science Ventures and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati. This tranched financing has an immediate draw of $30M with an additional $10M available in the first-half of 2009. Concurrent with the financing, Hironori Hozoji, Investment Officer, JAFCO Life Science Investment, will be joining Kythera's board of directors.
“We are delighted to have JAFCO as an investor and Mr. Hozoji on our Board. Not only does JAFCO have outstanding experience in the
“This financing is a clear recognition of the progress made on and potential of our lead product candidate, ATX-101, which is currently being evaluated in Phase II clinical trials in Europe, Canada, Australia and the U.S. for minimally-invasive reduction of localized fat,” said Leonard.
“Kythera has taken a novel, biotechnology-based approach to aesthetic medicine, and we are very impressed with the innovative products and the deeply experienced management team,” said Hironori Hozoji, investment officer for JAFCO. “We welcomed the opportunity to lead this round of financing for such a promising company.”
Kythera will use the proceeds of this financing to complete Phase II trials for its lead product ATX-101. Kythera has U.S. INDs open to study ATX-101 in both aesthetic and medical indications and has three Phase II studies ongoing to evaluate the product's safety and effectiveness for the reduction of unwanted submental fat and the reduction of subcutaneous lipomas. Initial studies have shown ATX-101 to be safe and well tolerated.
“We are enthusiastic to contribute our financial and strategic resources to Kythera as we believe that ATX-101 has the potential to become the gold standard fat reduction treatment on the market. Kythera is applying a rigorous development approach rarely seen in the aesthetic space,” said Hozoji.
Kythera also will use the funds to advance ATX-104, a novel dermal contouring agent, and ATX-202, a pigment modulation compound, into clinical trials. The company plans to commercialize its products in the
JAFCO Co. Ltd. is the parent company of JAFCO Life Science Investment, a Tokyo-based publicly traded venture capital firm with a global investment focus. Founded in 1973, JAFCO has managed over 40 investment funds globally through its offices in North America,
About Kythera Biopharmaceuticals
Kythera is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on science and innovation in aesthetic medicine. These markets are expanding rapidly driven by an aging population, increasing discretionary income, and an evolution of patient preference toward aesthetic care. The company uses the tools of biotechnology to develop prescription therapeutics for these emerging markets. Kythera has active or exploratory programs in adipolysis, dermal contouring, pigmentation, photoaging and topical neuromodulation.
For more information about Kythera, please visit the company's Web site at www.kytherabiopharma.com.