SOUTHPORT, Connecticut, August 22, 2011 – Thetis Pharmaceuticals LLC, a development stage pharmaceutical company focused on cardio-metabolic disease, announced today that Connecticut Innovations (CI), the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology investing in new technology innovation, has made a $500,000 investment in Thetis as part of a $1.75 million funding round also involving Stonehenge Partners and angel investors.
Thetis is a drug development company that is advancing novel therapies for type 2 diabetes. Its lead candidate is a new molecular entity that chemically combines metformin, the standard of care in type 2 diabetes, with the principal components from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Frank Sciavolino, Ph.D., president, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Thetis said, “Our lead compound represents an important contribution to diabetes therapy, offering physicians the prospect of a new, oral treatment for diabetic patients with the potential to regulate blood glucose and address lipid deficits that are often present in this population.”
Thetis is led by Dr. Sciavolino, an R&D executive who previously held leadership positions at Pfizer in discovery, development and licensing, and played a key role behind two of its most notable drug franchises, Zithromax and Celebrex, over a 35-year career. He is joined by Banavara (Larry) Mylari, Ph.D., an R&D executive specializing in diabetes and its long-term complications with 30+ years of experience at Pfizer, and G. Alexander Fleming, M.D., who brings 25 years of experience in clinical research and medical and regulatory affairs, including 12 years with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration where he was supervisory medical officer of the Division of Metabolic and Endocrine Drug Products.
“CI is pleased to lead this seed investment in Thetis Pharmaceuticals,” said Peter Longo, president and executive director of CI. “We were encouraged by Thetis’s promising new compound, the significant and growing market it will serve, and the strength of the leadership team, which includes experienced bioscience executives and researchers as well as managers with strong business acumen and fundraising experience.” David Wurzer, CI managing director of investments, will represent CI on Thetis’s board of directors.