CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sep 24, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Visterra, Inc., developer of novel therapeutics to prevent and treat major infectious diseases, today announced that FierceBiotech has named it as one of 2013's "Fierce 15," designating Visterra as one of the most promising private biotechnology companies in the industry. This is FierceBiotech's eleventh annual "Fierce 15" selection.
"Building on the work of noted MIT scientist Ram Sasisekharan, Visterra has set its sights on one of the Holy Grails in the influenza field, a universal approach to treating and guarding against pandemic and seasonal flu," says FierceBiotech Editor John Carroll. "The biotech has attracted an experienced hand with its new CEO, Brian Pereira, and is headed into the clinic with its most promising flu antibody, VIS410. We'll be watching closely to see how it all works out."
"We are honored to be recognized as one of the innovative companies selected for this year's 'Fierce 15'," said Brian J. G. Pereira, M.D., CEO of Visterra. "There is a critical need for better approaches to address infectious diseases, and Visterra's proprietary antibody engineering platform offers improved ways to discover and develop treatments for a range of difficult-to-treat infectious diseases. The prospect of developing game-changing medicines that can significantly impact the lives of patients around the world truly motivates our team, and we look forward to building our company around Visterra's exciting technology."
The Fierce 15 celebrates the spirit of being "fierce" - championing innovation and creativity, even in the face of intense competition. Every year FierceBiotech evaluates hundreds of private companies from around the world for its annual "Fierce 15" list, which is based on a variety of factors such as the strength of its technology, partnerships, venture backers and a competitive market position. A complete list of "Fierce 15" companies is available online at FierceBiotech.com.
Visterra discovers and develops novel antibodies for the prevention and treatment of major infectious diseases. The company's proprietary antibody engineering technology generates unique structural information that identifies novel target epitopes (sites recognized by antibodies) and guides the design of antibodies which specifically target these epitopes to effectively combat disease. The company's lead antibody product candidate, VIS410, is a broad spectrum monoclonal antibody for the prevention and treatment of both seasonal and pandemic influenza. The company is building a proprietary pipeline of novel antibodies in infectious disease, and continuing to expand its disease area focus through strategic partnerships. Visterra was founded based on the scientific work of Dr. Ram Sasisekharan at MIT, and is currently backed by Polaris Partners, Flagship Ventures, Lux Capital, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Omega Funds. For more information please visit www.visterrainc.com.
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SOURCE: Visterra, Inc.