April 16, 2009

VC Firms, Interwest Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Clarus Ventures, and EDF Ventures Invest $36 Million in Series A Funding for Lycera

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Lycera Corporation is a company that develops small molecule pharmaceuticals for treating autoimmune diseases rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.� Lycera is a developer of small-molecule immunomodulators to treat autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis, lupus and transplant rejection.�� Lycera is a spin off from the University of Michigan and its founder is Dr. Gary Glick.�� Currently, Lycera has received its first $10 million in a tranche funding and will receive the rest of the funding in two more tranches as milestones in the company�s new product development are met.��

Along with the funding, Lycera will bring Dr. Jeffry Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., managing directors at Clarus Ventures; Kristina Burow, partner with ARCH Venture Partners; and Nina Kjellson, a general partner with Interwest Partners onto the company�s board of directors.� To further the attraction of Lycera to its investors, the company has also announced that it plans to expand its development of small-molecule immunomodulators by adding a program that the candidate drugs would target the Th17 pathway that was discovered by Dr. Dan Littman, M.D., Ph.D.���

According to Dr. Glick, the financing is a significant validation of Lycera�s technological platforms.� Lycera is very fortunate to have a partnership with investors who are experienced in the field and are also a group of very talented and distinguished group of people.� The company�s investors� expertise in the development of drugs to fight autoimmune diseases and their track record at building high-class companies is extremely valuable for Lycera.�

Founded in 1979, Interwest Partners is a vc firm that is focused on building long term relationships with entrepreneurs and portfolio companies.�� Interwest is currently in its tenth fund which is worth over $650 million and has in general so far raised over $2.8 billion in capital since its founding.�� Interwest Partners is based in Menlo Park, California and has an office in Dallas, Texas as well.� Interwest Partners mainly invests in the life sciences and IT industries.

ARCH Venture Partners is a vc firm that mainly likes to invest in seed and early stage capital for technology companies and has an extraordinary competence in co-investing in building new startup companies in the tech industry.�� ARCH Venture Partners mainly works together with scientists and entrepreneurs who focus mainly in life sciences, physical sciences, and information technology.� ARCH manages seven funds that total over $1.5 billion and has invested in over 150 different companies.

Clarus Ventures is a vc firm that focuses primarily on the life sciences and specifically likes to invest in biopharmaceuticals and medical technology companies.� Clarus has deep and diverse expertise in the research, development and commercialization of new products.� Clarus Venture partners has $1.2 billion under its management and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a second office in South San Francisco, California.

EDF Ventures is a vc firm that provides capital and assistance to diligent entrepreneurs who have a proprietary technology and are eager to build a unique company that can meet the needs in its industry sector.� EDF mainly likes to invest in the healthcare industry.�� EDF Ventures is based in Michigan, but invests throughout the United States and is proud to be able to attract leading syndicated investors in the healthcare industry.� EDF has three funds that total about $175 million under its management.

For more information on Lycera, click here.