ARTSaVIT Ltd. Completes $6.3 Million Series A Financing

Israeli cancer apoptosis company ARTSaVIT LTD announced that it has completed a $6.3 million Series A round of financing led by Arkin Bio Ventures and Pontifax, with participation of Merck Ventures, Carmel Innovation and Carmel – Haifa University Economic Corporation Ltd.

ARTSaVIT was co-founded by Carmel, the economic corporation of the University of Haifa, Carmel Innovations Fund and Professor Sarit Larisch from the University of Haifa, Israel. Prof. Larisch has identified and characterized ARTS, a protein which regulates the levels of several important anti-apoptotic proteins by promoting their degradation. Apoptosis is a highly regulated process of natural cell death. Faulty regulation of apoptosis is implicated in many human diseases, including cancer. Moreover, resistance to apoptosis is a hallmark of most human cancers.

The insights gathered by Prof. Larisch and the unique function of ARTS led to the establishment of the company, which is developing small molecule ARTS mimetics designed to selectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells. The company received seed investment from the Carmel Innovations Fund, which supported the research and development of the company to its current stage.

ARTSaVIT will move from its facilities at Carmel, University of Haifa, to the state-of-the-art facilities at the Merck Ventures Israel BioIncubator, which will support the development of the start-up with its infrastructure and a wide range of incubation facilities and services.

Dr. Rom Eliaz, Head of the Merck Ventures Israel BioIncubator commented: “We are excited to join forces with Arkin Bio Ventures, Pontifax and Carmel and would like to welcome ARTSaVit to our BioIncubator. Following the completion of this fundraising, the company is now well positioned to reach its next value inflection point“.

Elka Nir, CEO of Carmel Ltd, the economic corporation of the Haifa University and CEO of Carmel Innovations Fund, noted: “We are proud and excited that Merck Ventures together with Arkin Bio Ventures and Pontifax invested in ARTSaVIT. It demonstrates the excellent quality and potential of the research and researchers at the University of Haifa. It is another great success for the Carmel Innovation Fund and its business model, which is funding seed companies, supporting them to a stage of significant value “

About ARTSaVIT

ARTSaVIT are developing a cancer drug, using the research of Professor Sarit Larisch from the University of Haifa, Israel. Prof. Larisch has identified and characterized ARTS, a protein which regulates the levels of several important anti-apoptotic proteins by promoting their degradation. Apoptosis is a highly regulated process of natural cell death. Faulty regulation of apoptosis is implicated in many human diseases, including cancer. Moreover, resistance to apoptosis is a hallmark of most human cancers.

 

Source: Merck Ventures Press Release

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