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Otonomy closes financing led by Novo Ventures and RiverVest

Otonomy, a biopharmaceutical company developing drug therapies for disorders of the inner and middle ear, has closed a USD38.5m series B financing co-led by Novo Ventures and RiverVest Venture Partners and joined by Domain Associates and TPG Biotech.

This financing is incremental to the USD10m series A closed with Avalon Ventures in June 2010. Avalon also participated in the series B round.

Proceeds from the financing will support Otonomy’s first two programmes through pivotal clinical studies as well as expansion of the company’s pipeline of locally delivered drugs to treat disorders of the ear.

"We are delighted to have participation in this financing from top-tier venture capital funds," says Jay Lichter, chief executive and co-founder of Otonomy and managing director of Avalon Ventures. "We also welcome the large commitment of funds in this round to support our clinical development activities through registration, and the financial capacity of the investor group, which enables the company to take our products through registration and possibly self-commercialise in the US should we decide to do so."

In conjunction with the financing, Peter Bisgaard, partner of Novo Ventures, Brian Dovey, partner of Domain Associates, John McKearn, venture partner of RiverVest Venture Partners, and Heather Preston, managing director of TPG Biotech, have been added to the board of directors.

"Novo Ventures have been impressed by the ability of Otonomy’s novel delivery technology to generate excellent drug exposure in the target organ, and we expect that this will translate into important new treatment options for patients," says Bisgaard. "Furthermore, we believe that the development of optimised drug treatments for disorders of the ear represents a very attractive investment opportunity based on the large population of patients affected and the lack of any FDA-approved drugs for hearing or balance disorders."

OTO-104, Otonomy’s lead product candidate, is a sustained release steroid currently in a Phase 1b clinical trial for patients with Meniere’s disease. Otonomy is also developing OTO-203, a combination product for the treatment of otitis media, which is expected to enter clinical trials in 2011. Other product candidates will target acute and chronic forms of hearing loss, balance disorders, and tinnitus.

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