Epidarex Capital’s Confluence Life Sciences acquired by Aclaris Therapeutics

Epidarex Capital (Epidarex), an early stage life science venture capital firm, has sold portfolio company Confluence Life Sciences to Aclaris Therapeutics, for a total deal value of up to USD100 million in up-front and milestone payments. 

The Confluence investors are also eligible to receive future payments on royalties on drug product sales.
 
Confluence was established in 2010 by an experienced team of former Pfizer executives and researchers in St. Louis, MO. The company’s focus is the discovery and development of kinase inhibitors to treat inflammatory and immunological disorders and cancer. Its assets include: CDD-450, a novel MK-2 pathway inhibitor; topical Janus kinase inhibitors ("soft JAK"); and IL2-inducible T-cell kinase (ITK) inhibitor programs.  Confluence also operates a profitable Contract Research Organisation whose clients includes both large pharmaceutical and early-stage, venture backed companies.
 
Epidarex joined Confluence’s lead investor, the Mercury Fund, as well as several local St. Louis investors in the company’s Series A investment in early 2014.
 
Kyp Sirinakis, Managing Partner and co-founder of Epidarex, and a Confluence board member since 2014, says: “Confluence is an excellent example of Epidarex’s strategy to back a strong team, with a promising platform technology in an under-ventured market. We are delighted that Confluence has successfully achieved a preclinical exit and we look forward to delivering further returns to our investors across the portfolio.”