Chiesi Ventures Invests in First Portfolio Company

Chiesi Ventures, a newly formed venture capital fund managed by A. M. Pappas & Associates, invests in early stage orphan and rare disease opportunities. The fund recently invested in its first portfolio company: Aura Biosciences, Inc., an oncology company focused on ocular melanoma.

Aura Biosciences, Inc. is a Boston-based, oncology-focused biotechnology company developing drugs using tumor-targeted Pseudovirions, a breakthrough concept discovered and patented by Dr. John Schiller at the National Cancer Institute. Aura is initially focused on the development of a new targeted therapy for the primary treatment of ocular melanoma, a rare ophthalmological cancer for which there is currently no approved therapy.

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Built Upon a Strong Foundation

Since 1994, A. M. Pappas & Associates has been investing in and nurturing promising companies, products, technologies, ventures and other significant entrepreneurial opportunities. Currently, we have $350 million in capital under management and have invested in more than 65 portfolio companies in the United States and Canada. While our focus is on delivering superior results to investors and entrepreneurs, the firm also supports philanthropic interests in the realms of life sciences, public education and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Dedicated to the Development of Life Science Innovation

A. M. Pappas & Associates manages three lines of business:

  • Pappas Ventures – We manage a family of life science venture capital funds, whose portfolio companies include Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical (2014 IPO), Chimerix (2013 IPO), TESARO (2012 IPO), TYRX (sold to Medtronic in 2013), and Lumena Pharmaceuticals (sold to Shire in 2014). Pappas Ventures invests throughout the United States and is one of the largest dedicated life science funds in the Southeast.
  • Specialized Fund Management – We leverage our experience, expertise and network on behalf of highly targeted investment fund opportunities. The first specialized fund in our portfolio is the Chiesi Ventures fund, focusing on rare disease opportunities.

    Chiesi chose to work with A. M. Pappas & Associates because of our proven experience and solid investment track record in building companies that are developing therapies for orphan and rare diseases.

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  • Translational Medicine Initiatives – We envision an opportunity to place A. M. Pappas & Associates at the nexus between researchers, university tech transfer offices, pharmaceutical companies, and disease-focused philanthropic organizations – to select, guide, and manage academic-based translational product candidates to early development milestones that will attract private investment or  industry interest.
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