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UC San Diego VC Partner Osage Invests in Antiva


  • Natasha Azar

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  • Natasha Azar

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UC San Diego Osage Partner

Antiva Biosciences, a spinout of UC San Diego, closed a $22M Series C financing in March. Antiva is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, localized therapeutics for the treatment of diseases caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection. Osage University Partners, a venture capital firm partnered with UC San Diego that invests exclusively in startups that are commercializing university research, invested in this round alongside Brace Pharma Capital (the investment arm of EMS S/A), NS Investment (the investment arm of Dong-A Pharma), and Alexandria Venture Investments. Existing investors Canaan Partners and Sofinnova Ventures also participated in the round.

Despite the availability of two different vaccines against the most common strains of HPV, millions of people are still affected by HPV infection in the U.S. and abroad. Over 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in the United States, all caused by HPV infection. The problem is much worse on a global scale. In some countries cervical cancer is the leading cause of death for women of reproductive age, and nearly nine of ten cervical cancer deaths occur in less developed regions of the world. HPV is also the most common cause of anal cancer, a leading cause of death for men infected with HIV.

UC San Diego startup Antiva Biosciences brings a novel approach that has great potential to minimize the threat of HPV infections. Antiva’s lead product is ABI-1968, a topical antiviral for the treatment of the pre-cancerous lesions caused by HPV infections. With this latest financing, Antiva will complete a Phase 1a/1b study of the topical antiviral molecule in patients infected with HPV.

Antiva was spun out of UC San Diego in 2012 from the lab of Dr. Karl Hostetler, a leader in virology who founded three biopharmaceutical companies: Chimerix (CMRX), Triangle Therapeutics (acquired by Gilead), and Vical (VICL) which are dedicated to developing lifesaving drugs in the treatment of serious viral infections and cancer.

UC San Diego is an academic partner of Osage University Partners (OUP), a leading venture capital firm specializing in investing in university-based start-ups. OUP has $315M under management and provides startup guidance, introductions, market intelligence, and potential investment to academics investigators and their startups. UC San Diego’s Office of Innovation & Commercialization works closely with OUP and can provide introductions to OUP’s investment team members.

Antiva Biosciences is the second UC San Diego startup OUP has invested in. OUP’s first investment was Otonomy in 2013, based on research from the lab of Jeffrey Harris, Division Chief, Otolaryngology. Otonomy is a biopharmaceuticals company developing novel and best-in-class therapeutics to address the significant unmet medical needs in the emerging otology market. Their first product, OTIPRIO, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of pediatric patients with bilateral otitis media with effusion undergoing ear tube placement. Otonomy raised $100M in an IPO in August 2014 and is currently traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

The Office of Innovation and Commercialization at UC San Diego is working with our campus partners and community advocates to help build the entrepreneurial culture on campus to strengthen the innovation ecosystem across campus and the region.

UC San Diego has a transformative impact on the economic, social, cultural, and imaginative experiences of the communities it serves. UC San Diego has deep and broad expertise in mulitidisciplinary areas that are rich with possibility for creation and innovation, education and training.

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