July 24, 2006
LOS ANGELES, July 24, 2006, – Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Kythera”), formerly known as AESTHERx, Inc., has announced the close of a $30 million series B financing. The financing was co-led by Prospect Venture Partners and ARCH Venture Partners. Prospect joins existing investors Versant Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners. Also investing in the round were Altitude Life Science Ventures, the UCLA Venture Fund and the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati Investment Company. Kythera, founded in August 2005, develops and commercializes innovative prescription products for the rapidly expanding aesthetic and restorative dermatology markets.
Concurrent with this financing, Kythera announced the following appointments to its board of directors: independent member, Dennis Fenton, PhD, executive vice president, Operations, at Amgen, Inc.; David Schnell, MD, managing director, Prospect Venture Partners; and Robert T. Nelsen, managing director, ARCH Venture Partners.
“We are very pleased to have these deeply capable and visionary leaders join our board. Dennis, David and Bob have seen all the elements of growth, change, challenge, and success in our industry, offering experience and judgment that will further strengthen our team,” said Keith Leonard, co-founder, president, and chief executive officer, Kythera.
Fenton, as executive vice president, Operations, at Amgen, Inc., is responsible for worldwide operations, manufacturing, process development and quality. A true pioneer in biotechnology, he left Pfizer 25 years ago to join the promising start-up company Amgen. Since that time Fenton has held numerous executive leadership roles at Amgen including operations, and sales and marketing. He also serves on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the board of trustees of the Keck Graduate Institute, and the board of regents of California Lutheran University. Fenton has a PhD in microbiology from Rutgers University.
Schnell is managing director, Prospect Venture Partners, a dedicated life science venture capital firm with over $1 billion of capital under management. He has led private investments and/or served on the board of directors of numerous public and private companies including Gloucester Pharmaceuticals, Healtheon, Microcide Pharmaceuticals, Neurocrine Biosciences, Rinat Neuroscience, Senomyx, Somaxon Pharmaceuticals. Trine and Trubion Pharmaceuticals. For more information visit www.prospectventures.com.
Nelsen joined ARCH at its founding and has played a significant role in the early sourcing, financing and development of more than thirty companies. Nelsen is a director of Adolor, Elixir, Ensemble Discovery, NeurogesX, and Ikaria, among others. He also serves on the board of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute. For more information visit www.archventure.com.
Fenton, Schnell and Nelsen join existing board members, Camille Samuels, managing director, Versant Ventures; Nathaniel E. David, PhD, co-founder and chief science officer, Kythera; and, Keith Leonard, co-founder, president and chief executive officer, Kythera.