Printer Friendly

VIROPHARMA RAISES $7 MILLION IN INITIAL VENTURE CAPITAL; COMPANY TO DEVELOP DRUG TO TREAT INFLUENZA AND HEPATITIS C

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa., Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- ViroPharma, Inc. today announced it has raised $7 million of initial venture capital funding. Investors in this round include Oak Investment Partners, Sevin Rosen Funds, Technology Leaders, and the New York Life Insurance Company.

"We believe our success in attracting such distinguished investors is a tribute to the outstanding scientists and management team we have assembled," said Claude H. Nash, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of ViroPharma. "These venture firms have funded a number of successful companies, including Cephalon, Genzyme, Compaq, Novell, and Biogen. This funding will enable us to advance our research programs for developing drugs that act on RNA viruses."

ViroPharma is a new biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel drugs to treat infections caused by RNA viruses. The Company has chosen this area of focus because it is an area with many unmet medical needs. Diseases caused by RNA viruses are wide-ranging and include influenza, pneumonia, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, and meningitis, plus the common cold and various forms of encephalitis and hepatitis. The recent outbreaks of hantavirus respiratory syndrome in the southwest United States and Ebola virus in Africa are examples of newly emerging RNA virus diseases.

"ViroPharma will exploit unique technology to develop treatments for a variety of viral diseases that are not treatable today,' said Ann Lamont of Oak Investment Partners. "The Company has a strong executive team and a solid technology base."

RNA viruses are unique from all other biological life forms in that they must replicate RNA for their survival. Cells, bacteria, and DNA viruses do not carry out this process. It is this unique process that ViroPharma will exploit for the development of specific and effective RNA virus antivirals. The Company has exceptional expertise in this area and technology that is broadly applicable to all RNA viruses. ViroPharma's discovery research programs are initially targeting influenza virus and hepatitis C virus, with plans to develop small molecule compounds that block critical steps in RNA replication by these viruses. The Company has established proprietary molecular assays in these two target areas that are suitable for chemical library screening. Efforts to discover, design, and synthesize novel inhibitors are underway.

ViroPharma was formed in 1994 by the following five-member management team:

Claude H. Nash, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, brings to ViroPharma more than 25 years of pharmaceutical management experience in areas of infectious diseases. Mr. Nash previously held executive level positions with Schering-Plough Research Institute, Sterling Winthrop Research Institute, and SmithKline & French Laboratories.

Mark A. McKinlay, Ph.D., Vice President, Research & Development, was Senior Project Director in Therapeutics at Sterling Winthrop, Inc. prior to joining ViroPharma. He has 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in antiviral drug discovery and development.

Marc S. Collett, Ph.D., Vice President for Discovery Research, has 15 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, serving as Senior Director, Viral Therapeutics at PathoGenesis Corporation immediately before joining ViroPharma, and earlier as Director of Virology & Antibody Engineering at MedImmune, Inc. and Research Director at Molecular Genetics, Inc. He is a world-renowned expert in RNA virus replication.

Johanna A. Griffin, Ph.D., Executive Director for Preclinical Research and Business Development, has 15 years experience in academia and industry. Prior to joining the Company, Dr. Griffin served as Director of Molecular Biology at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, where she participated in the clinical development of antiviral drugs and the promotion of international pharmaceutical and biotechnology relationships.

Guy D. Diana, Ph.D., is Executive Director for Chemistry Research. As Senior Research Chemist and Senior Research Fellow with Sterling Winthrop, Inc., Dr. Diana has more than 30 years of research experience in the discovery, design, and synthesis of small molecule antiviral drugs.
 -0- 8/1/95


/CONTACT: Claude H. Nash, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of ViroPharma, Inc., 610-983-5989; Anthony J. Russo, Ph.D., ext. 202 or Rich Tammero, ext. 222, 212/696-4455, both of Noonan/Russo Communications, Inc./

CO: ViroPharma Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU:

WW-MS -- NY013 -- 0336 08/01/95 08:34 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1995 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 1, 1995
Words:673
Previous Article:IMAX CORPORATION REPORTS SECOND QUARTER RESULTS
Next Article:LONG DISTANCE WORKERS RALLY AT CONGRESSIONAL OFFICES IN NINE U.S. CITIES TO 'STOP THE MONOPOLY BILL'
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters