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Avelas Biosciences Closes $6.85 Million in Series B Financing to Advance Real-Time Cancer Visualization Technology to Clinical Proof-of-Concept
Date:1/9/2014

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  Avelas Biosciences announced today the closing of a $6.85 million tranche of a Series B financing round – bringing the total funds raised since inception to ~$14 million.  The funds will be used to support ongoing development of the Avelas Cancer Illuminator (ACI) candidate, AVB-620, through first-in-patient study. The financing was led by founding investor, Avalon Ventures, joined by new investors Torrey Pines Investment, WuXi AppTec, and an additional unnamed investor.

In conjunction with the financing, Avelas Biosciences has promoted Carmine Stengone to chief executive officer where he and Nikolay Savchuk, Ph.D., managing director for Torrey Pines Investment, will join the board of directors. Jay Lichter, Ph.D., managing partner for Avalon Ventures, has been appointed board chairman.  Kevin Kinsella and Timothy Scott will remain on the Avelas board of directors.

"ACI technology offers an objective and quantitative approach to oncologic surgical imaging that cannot be achieved using conventional techniques, which lack sensitivity and are prone to artifacts," said Dr. Lichter. "This new financing round will propel AVB-620 development one step closer to accurately visualizing cancer in real-time for patients."

Surgery is an important part of breast cancer management.  In addition to removal of the primary tumor, surgery is required for tissue biopsy and accurate cancer staging, which is critical for subsequent treatment decisions. Unfortunately, the current standard for evaluating these samples cannot be done in real-time and, therefore, often requires a second operation which exposes the patient to additional surgical risk and cost.  A means of determining the cancer status of tissue in real-time would represent a signif
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