citybiz+ Catalio Invests $10 Million in Skincare Firm Avava

Avava, a skincare firm based in Waltham, Mass., has closed a $25 million Series C led by South Korea’s Jeisy Medical and additionally secured $10 million in growth capital from Catalio Capital Management.

New York-based Catalio was spun out of investment firm Camden Partners in 2020 by Johns Hopkins alumni George Petrocheilos and R. Jacob Vogelstein. Initially established in Baltimore, the healthcare- and life sciences-focused firm sold a minority stake to investment powerhouse KKR last year.

“As a leading investor in cutting-edge healthcare technologies, Catalio is thrilled to partner with Avava as the company continues to make remarkable progress,” said Jonathan Blankfein, partner and portfolio manager at Catalio Capital.

FDA-approved Laser Device

“We are highly optimistic for what the future holds for Avava and for this fast-growing segment of the aesthetics industry,” added Blankfein, a Harvard alumnus and former Goldman Sachs executive. Catalio’s funding of Avava came from its Structured Opportunities Fund.

Avava, spun out of Boston-based Blossom Innovations in 2017, focuses on skin treatments. It plans to use the funds to commercially expand its FDA-approved laser technology called Miria, billed as the first high-energy device treating all skin tones.

“This financing represents an important moment in Avava’s journey as we move forward in our mission to revolutionize the aesthetics industry,” said Avava CEO, Dr. Irina Erenburg.

Miria, developed by the trio of R. Rox Anderson, Dieter Manstein and Henry Chan, was unveiled in April under an exclusive distribution partnership with Jeisys. It is to be launched in South Korea and Japan later this year.

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Financial Whiz at Helm
Catalio’s co-founder Petrocheilos, who has degrees from Harvard and Johns Hopkins, is considered a financial whiz with prior experience at HealthCor and Global Domain Hedge Fund. He was only 22 when he made Baltimore Business Journal’s “40 under 40.”  Petrocheilos, who serves as Catalio’s managing partner, is among the board of trustees at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore School for the Arts and Johns Hopkins Center for Financial Economics.

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R. Jacob Vogelstein, who worked with Petrocheilos at Camden, served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University — at both the Applied Physics Laboratory and the Whiting School of Engineering. He earned a BSc. degree in bio-electrical engineering from Brown University and a Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He serves on the board of Haystack, and several other portfolio companies including Cage Pharmaceuticals and Entos AI.

Catalio boasts of partnerships with 36 world-renowned scientists who have each started several successful companies. The high-profile firm has raised at least $566 million from three funds. Its most recent fund worth $85 million closed in October 2022. Its recent bets include PinkDx, Protara Therapeutics, Clasp Therapeutics, FogPharma and Roshal Health.