TARIS CEO Purnanand Sarma Says $25 Million Series B Funding Will Focus on Bladder Cancer and Overactive Bladder Programs

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Purnanand Sarma

LEXINGTON, MA–ARIS Biomedical LLC, which is developing targeted new therapies for patients suffering from difficult-to-treat bladder diseases, has raised $25 million in a Series B financing.

The new funding will be used to “to further advance both our programs- bladder cancer and overactive bladder, to next key clinical milestones,” TARIS President and CEO Purnanand Sarma told INDIA New England News.

This round was led by Yonghua Capital, with participation from new investors Bristol-Myers Squibb and Norma Investments, representing businessman Roman Abramovich. Existing investors Flagship Pioneering, Polaris Partners, and RA Capital Management, also participated in the Series B round.

In the first round, TARIS had raised $32 million and key investors were Flagship Pioneering, Polaris Partners and RA Capital Management, Mr. Sarma said.

Purnanand Sarma

“We have made substantial progress on our lead programs in bladder cancer and overactive bladder,” Mr. Sarma said an statement issued earlier. “Both programs demonstrate our unique approach to designing novel therapeutics that may dramatically change the management of these serious diseases. Funds from this round will be used to rapidly advance both indications through key clinical milestones.”

Mr. Sarma said that TARIS is thrilled to add new investors to its syndicate.

“We are excited to join the new and existing investors in this financing round, and to help TARIS build substantial long-term value as a focused urology company,” said Moses Zhao, Managing Partner, North American Healthcare Investment for Yonghua Capital.

In a separate move last month, TARIS and Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that the companies have entered into a clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of TARIS’ investigational product, TAR-200 (GemRIS™), in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s programmed death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitor, Opdivo (nivolumab).

The Phase 1b trial will evaluate the combination in patients with Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (MIBC) who are scheduled for radical cystectomy. In conjunction with this collaboration, Bristol-Myers Squibb also made an equity investment in TARIS.

Bladder cancer affects more than 2.7 million patients worldwide, and is among one of the most expensive types of cancers to treat on a per-patient lifetime basis. Few options are available to treat MIBC, which often may metastasize and leads to death.
“We also announced a clinical research collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb Corporation to study the combination of our program with Opdivo (Nivolumab) in the treatment of muscle-invasive bladder canceo. Bristol-Myers also made an investment in the Company as a part of our Series B,” said Mr. Sarma.

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