San Francisco’s Anthera Pharmaceuticals, which develops treatments for inflammatory diseases, said it has gotten $36 million in initial venture financing.

The funding was co-led by VantagePoint Venture Partners and Sofinnova Ventures, and included Pappas Ventures, Mitsubishi International Corporation, along with Series A-1 investors Sears Capital Management and SIM Equity.

Eli Lilly and Company and Shionogi & Co., Ltd. also received equity as part of Anthera’s obligations under the recently announced license agreement.

Annette Bianchi, Managing Director, and co-Head of VantagePoint’s Healthcare Practice Group and Jim Healy, General Partner of Sofinnova Ventures were named to the Board of Directors.

The funding will be used to initiate clinical development of Anthera’s portfolio of anti-inflammatory compounds licensed from Eli Lilly and Company and Shionogi & Co., the company said

The company says its novel secretory phospholipase programs are preparing for Phase II clinical testing in multiple indications. Anthera said it will initiate clinical studies later this year for the program’s lead compound A-001 as an early intervention therapy for acute chest syndrome in patients with underlying sickle cell disease • which it calls “a $500 Million worldwide market opportunity.”