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Tolera Closes First Round

Tolera Therapeutics Inc., a Cleveland-based developer of immunotherapeutics for the transplantation, oncology and autoimmune disease markets, has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Triathlon Medical Ventures led the round, and was joined by the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund and Hopen Therapeutics Inc. Tolera was spun out of The Cleveland Clinic in January 2007.



Tolera Therapeutics Inc., a newly formed biotechnology company focusing on the development of immunotherapeutics directed at the transplantation, oncology and autoimmune disease markets, announced today that it has closed its Series A financing.  This most recent raise brings the total company financing to over $8 million since the company was spun out of Cleveland Clinic Innovations in January, 2007.  The financing syndicate was led by Triathlon Medical Ventures of Cincinnati, Ohio, and included the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund of Kalamazoo, Michigan and Hopen Therapeutics, Inc. of Grand Rapids, Michigan.


“This funding affords us the opportunity to move quickly in advancing our novel therapeutic technologies” said CEO John Puisis “And we are eager to bring these technologies forward on behalf of patients and clinicians seeking next generation approaches to immune modulation”.


Suzette Dutch of Triathlon Medical Ventures, who will join the Board of Directors of the company added:  “We are delighted to lead this first institutional funding round for Tolera, a company with a promising technology platform and a near term product with human data evidencing key advantages in transplantation. We look forward to working with our fellow investors to support the management team in realizing the value of the company's most promising opportunities”.


CEO Puisis continued, “We are very pleased to have the support of the Midwest venture community.  There are tremendous life science resources in the Midwest and this syndicate, coming together in support of our technology, is indicative of the growing stature of the region for biotech innovation and investment opportunities”.


About Tolera Therapeutics:  Building upon research done at the University of Kentucky and the Cleveland Clinic, Tolera Therapeutics is developing and commercializing therapies for the immune suppression / modulation market with the goal of addressing unmet medical needs with safer, more targeted solutions to reduce the risk of serious and toxic side effects.  The company is focusing first on commercializing a therapeutic monoclonal antibody for the transplantation and oncology markets, while researching and developing related therapies for those suffering from autoimmune diseases such as diabetes (Type 1).  The company owns an exclusive, worldwide license to its antibody technology, including chimeric and humanized clones, which has already undergone extensive research, development and human studies.  Additional information concerning the company and its technology can be found on its website


About Triathlon Medical Ventures: 
 Triathlon Medical Ventures is a Midwest-based venture capital firm that invests exclusively in the life sciences. Investing its first fund of $105 million, the venture firm provides equity capital to early and expansion stage companies with proprietary biomedical technology platforms or products addressing significant human healthcare needs. Investments are geographically focused on early stage opportunities in the Midwest but include later stage companies nationwide. Triathlon Medical Ventures is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, with offices and partners in Indianapolis, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; and St. Louis, Missouri.  To learn more about Triathlon Medical Ventures, go to


About Southwest Michigan First:  The Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund is a $50 million limited partnership venture fund interested in early stage life science opportunities in southwest Michigan that have demonstrably viable technologies and are committed to establishing a presence in the Kalamazoo region.  The fund's primary goal is to spur economic development and retain intellectual capital within the area.  More information about the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund can be found at


About Hopen Therapeutics:
 Hopen Therapeutics is a private investment and management firm focused on helping early- to mid-stage life science developments achieve commercial success located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The organization focuses on identifying promising healthcare innovations, whether the concept is a drug, medical device or other healthcare product, and accelerating time to market.  Hopen Therapeutics considers investments without regard to specific disease indication, market size, or geographic area.  For additional information, go to