CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eleven Biotherapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company designing and engineering novel and differentiated protein-based biotherapeutics, announced today that it has secured $20 million dollars in Series A equity financing, expanding the total Series A investment to $45M. New investor, JAFCO Co., Ltd. joined the Series A financing with a $10 million investment and $10 million was received from commitments from existing investors, Third Rock Ventures and Flagship Ventures. “Eleven Biotherapeutics is on the cutting-edge of science and technology with its rationally-designed novel protein therapeutics,” said Kenji Harada, PhD, Principal of JAFCO. “I look forward to working with Eleven’s leadership team as they move programs forward that have the potential to offer a truly significant advance over current treatments.”
“With JAFCO we are very pleased to expand our circle of industry-leading investors,” said Abbie Celniker, PhD, CEO of Eleven Biotherapeutics. “Eleven has made tremendous progress in rationally designing proteins ‘fit for purpose’ such as our lead drug candidate EBI-005, which will be entering clinical development for the treatment of dry eye syndrome later this year. This financing provides us with a strong financial foundation and firmly validates our investors’ enthusiasm for Eleven’s ability to develop novel, best-in-class protein therapeutics.”
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Eleven’s first program, EBI-005, into clinical development while continuing to advance earlier stage programs generated by its proprietary AMP-Rx product engine.
In conjunction with this financing transaction, Kenji Harada, PhD, will join the Eleven Biotherapeutics board of directors. He joins board members Noubar Afeyan, PhD, and David Berry, MD, PhD, of Flagship Ventures and Mark Levin and Cary Pfeffer, MD, of Third Rock Ventures.
Eleven Biotherapeutics lead product candidate, EBI-005, is a novel interleukin-1 receptor antagonist poised to enter clinical development in 2012 as the first protein therapeutic specifically designed for topical delivery to the eye for the treatment of surface of the eye disease. EBI-005 has been designed to have superior physical, pharmaceutical and therapeutic properties including topical ophthalmic administration for the treatment of ocular diseases including dry eye and severe ocular allergy. The mechanism of action for EBI-005 has been validated in clinical proof-of-concept studies in which IL-1 blockage was shown to be safe and well-tolerated without burning or irritation.
About Eleven Biotherapeutics
Eleven Biotherapeutics creates novel and differentiated biotherapeutics: first-of-a-kind protein-based drugs with significantly improved physical, pharmaceutical, and therapeutic benefits. The company’s AMP-Rx™ product engine brings capabilities beyond conventional approaches for making protein therapeutics, opening up new territory for the products to have novel structures, enhanced biophysical properties, and more effective targeting in disease pathways. Eleven’s success is built on designing proteins ‘fit for purpose’ that are rationally designed to have ideal therapeutic characteristics and result in best-in-class biotherapeutic products for a wide range of diseases. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company was founded in 2010 by life science investors Flagship Ventures and Third Rock Ventures and world-renowned scientific experts. For more information, please visit www.elevenbio.com.
JAFCO Co. Ltd., listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, is a Tokyo-based private equity company that operates investment partnerships on a global basis. Founded in 1973, JAFCO has managed a cumulative total of over 90 investment funds through its offices in Japan, the US, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. About 900 portfolio companies have made IPO to date. JAFCO's life-science investments in the US focus on biopharmaceutical ventures and create significant value for portfolio companies by facilitating alliances in Japan and Asia with JAFCO's extensive worldwide network of leading pharmaceutical companies. For further information, please visit www.jafco.co.jp/english/.