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Avalon Ventures and GSK add two more companies to their launch list of early-stage life-science companies.
Avalon Ventures announced on Sept. 22, 2014 the launch of two new companies formed through its collaboration with GSK to fund and launch early-stage life-science companies, providing a total of ten new companies with up to $495 million through preclinical proof of concept. Sitari Pharmaceuticals, established in November 2013, was the first company launched through this collaboration and is targeting the transglutaminase 2 (TG2) pathway for the development of treatments for multiple disease indications, with an initial focus on celiac disease.
Avalon and GSK will provide its two new companies, Silarus Therapeutics and Thyritope Biosciences, with up to $10 million each in Series A financing and R&D support. Silarus and Thyritope will be located in San Diego at COI Pharmaceuticals, a company that was established by Avalon to provide operational support, an R&D facility, and a leadership team to its life-science portfolio companies.
Silarus Therapeutics is developing therapeutics targeting erythroferrone, a hormone that regulates iron supply for red blood cell production, for the treatment of iron deficiency and iron overload disorders.
Thyritope Biosciences is developing therapeutics that target thyroid stimulating autoantibodies, which are the causative drivers of the hyperthyroidism and orbitopathy that is associated with Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder caused by antibodies that overstimulate the thyroid, causing excessive thyroid hormone production. These antibodies stimulate the tissue around the eyes, resulting in an increase of orbital fat and extraocular muscle volume which causes the bulging of the eyes characteristic of Graves’ orbitopathy.