Merck’s Global Health Innovation Fund will invest (along with others), contingent (in part) on milestone acheivments, up to $30 million in Aviir, an Orange County, California company founded on research conducted up in Palo Alto, at Stanford. Here’s a bit from a local paper:
. . . .Aviir, which was founded in 2005, has already received $10 million and could receive another $20 million if it meets certain milestones. Merck Global Health Innovation Fund led the round, which included existing investors Bay City Capital, Aberdare Ventures and New Leaf Venture Partners.
Aviir CEO Douglas Harrington said, “Most people believe that narrowing arteries cause heart attacks, but the truth is that more than 70% of heart attacks are caused by a blood clot in the artery resulting from rupture of unstable plaque, which stops blood flow to the heart. And, while cholesterol is implicated in the development of unstable plaque, more than 50% of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels. . . .”
We’ll keep an eye on this one — for the readership, but it is true that early detection is literally half the battle in fighting heart disease. So, this might well prove to be a prescient bet, by the team led by CEO Frazier.