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Sitari Pharmaceuticals, First Company Launched Through Avalon Ventures-GlaxoSmithKline Collaboration, Raises up to $10 Million Series A Financing and R&D Support
Date:11/22/2013

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Avalon Ventures today announced the launch of Sitari Pharmaceuticals, the first company formed by Avalon and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) under a unique collaboration recently established to fund and launch up to 10 early-stage life science companies in San Diego. Sitari has raised $10 million in Series A financing and R&D support from Avalon Ventures and GSK for the development of novel treatments for celiac disease. Separately, Avalon has also established COI Pharmaceuticals (COI), an unconventional venture-pharma entity that will provide operational support, a fully equipped R&D facility and an experienced leadership team to Sitari and future companies that may be created from the Avalon-GSK collaboration.

"We received an overwhelmingly positive response to the collaboration between GSK and Avalon Ventures, and established COI Pharmaceuticals to support the rapid launch of new companies as we already have an outstanding pipeline of projects to choose from," said Jay Lichter, CEO of COI and Managing Director of Avalon Ventures. "COI is a 'Community of Innovation' that provides an environment where entrepreneurial and scientific risks are encouraged and rewarded for life science inventors with bold ideas. We are attracting and in-licensing innovative discoveries with significant potential for drug development and working with founding scientists to launch promising early-stage companies such as Sitari."

Sitari Pharmaceuticals is targeting the Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) pathway for the development of treatments for multiple disease indications, with an initial focus in celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease caused by intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. The company's therapeutic approach ta
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SOURCE Avalon Ventures
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