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Viamet Pharmaceuticals secures USD18m financing

Viamet Pharmaceuticals has secured USD18m in a series B financing to accelerate the development of its metalloenzyme inhibitors and to advance its Metallophile Technology platform.

Viamet Pharmaceuticals has secured USD18m in a series B financing to accelerate the development of its metalloenzyme inhibitors and to advance its Metallophile Technology platform.

The investment was led by the Novartis Option Fund and Lilly Ventures and also included Viamet’s existing investors Intersouth Partners, Hatteras Venture Partners, Lurie Investment Fund, and Astellas Venture Management.

The proprietary Metallophile Technology is based on Viamet’s expertise in bioinorganic chemistry and metalloenzymes and allows Viamet to rapidly and cost-effectively generate novel compounds by optimizing the metal-binding component of existing metalloenzyme inhibitors.

As part of the closing of the financing, Lauren Silverman, managing director of the Novartis Option Fund, and Ed Torres, managing director of Lilly Ventures, have joined Viamet’s board of directors.

‘We are very pleased that the Novartis Option Fund and Lilly Ventures have elected to invest in Viamet. Their interest in our pipeline programs and Metallophile Technology is truly gratifying,’ says Robert Schotzinger, president and chief executive officer of Viamet. ‘Both the Novartis Option Fund and Lilly Ventures share a common vision with us and our current investors that the Metallophile Technology platform will significantly improve many existing inhibitors of key metalloenzymes through enhanced safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetics.’

Silverman says: ‘We believe that Viamet’s Metallophile Technology has the potential to dramatically improve the selectivity of existing metalloenzyme inhibitors leading to reduced off-target toxicities and improvements in the therapeutic index of this important class of drugs. The strength of the technology and team at Viamet was particularly attractive to us and we are excited to be part of their effort moving forward.’

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