Lithera, a US-based drugs company for abdominal swelling, has raised $20.6m from a consortium including South Korea-based cosmetics maker AmorePacific and clinical trial information and logistics services provider Numoda’s corporate venturing units. The round might increase to $35.6m if performance targets are met. The deal is AmorePacific Ventures’ first public investment since being formally set up in July last year. Alongside it and corporate venturing peer Numoda Capital Innovations were venture capital firms Domain Associates and Alta Partners and RusnanoMedInvest (RMI), a medical investment subsidiary of Russia state-backed Rusnano. Lithera said part of the money would pay for a phase IIb trial of its Lipo-202 (Salmeterol Xinafoate for Injection) on abdominal bulging due to excess subcutaneous fat (known as love handles) in healthy, non-obese subjects. George Mahaffey, executive president of Lithera since March 2011, said: “Abdominal contouring is a rapidly growing area of aesthetic medicine and our injectable, non-ablative approach to reduce the size of subcutaneous abdominal fat deposits should be highly desirable to physicians and patients.”

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