BioPharma

Avalon Ventures launches 3 biotech startups with GSK

Avalon and GSK’s three new startups – Adrenergics, CadheRx Therapeutics and Calporta Therapeutics will each receive up to $10 million in Series A financing.

San Diego-based Avalon Ventures has launched three new biotech startups, as part of an unconventional partnership with GlaxoSmithKline.

Two years ago, the pharma giant and Avalon said they’d fund and co-launch 10 new early-stage life sciences companies with up to $495 million — providing support through preclinical proof-of-concept. Since, they’ve launched six startups.

The three new startups — Adrenergics, CadheRx Therapeutics and Calporta Therapeutics will each receive up to $10 million in Series A financing, Avalon said in a release.

Adrenergics is developing a medication geared toward dilated cardiomyopathy — a heart muscle disease that results in inefficient pumping of blood. It doesn’t disclose whether the drug’s a biologic or small molecule.

CadheRx is building antibody-based therapeutics to treat solid tumors that are resistant to other treatments — particularly Cetuximab and Herceptin-resistant epithelial cancers. The IP comes from Stony Brook University.

Calporta is developing selective small molecule antagonists to treat Niemann-Pick C Disease, and other lysosomal storage diseases. The work’s licensed from the University of Michigan.

“Avalon’s nimble start-up mentality aligned with the unparalleled R&D expertise and resources of a global pharmaceutical giant like GSK has proven to be a powerful engine for identifying exciting early-stage research for translation into drug candidates, producing six new biotech companies from this collaboration over the last two years,” Avalon Ventures managing director Jay Lichter said in a statement.