SAN DIEGO, January 3, 2007 — Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced the $5.5 million first closing of a $27.5 million Preferred Stock private placement financing led by Aberdare Ventures. In addition to Aberdare, investors include Advent Venture Partners, Bay City Capital, and Gilde Healthcare Partners. Conatus will use the proceeds to advance the clinical development of a novel clinical stage drug candidate the Company has licensed from Roche to identify additional in-licensing opportunities and to fund general business operations.
As part of the financing, Patrick Lee from Advent, William Gerber, M.D., from Bay City Capital, and Marc Perret from Gilde will join the Conatus Board of Directors. David Hale, who has worked with the Conatus Team in the formation of the company, will join the Conatus Board as an independent Director. Paul Klingenstein from Aberdare Ventures and Steven J. Mento, Ph.D., Co-founder, President and CEO of Conatus, will continue as company Directors.
“This financing has enabled Conatus to gain exclusive rights and initiate internal development of a novel clinical stage drug candidate for the treatment of liver disease associated with Hepatitis C infection,” said Steven J. Mento Ph.D. “The Conatus management team pioneered the development of novel drugs in this space and looks forward to bringing new drug candidates forward into clinical trials in this under-served patient population.”
Coincident with the first closing of the Series A financing, Conatus also converted promissory notes into Series A preferred stock.
Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a privately-held specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the development of innovative human therapeutics to treat liver disease. Chronic liver disease affects millions of people worldwide and can be caused by many different conditions or “insults” to the liver including viral infection, obesity, chronic alcohol abuse or autoimmune diseases. Conatus was founded by the executive management team of Idun Pharmaceuticals in July 2005 following the successful sale of Idun to Pfizer.