A group of VCs and Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS; SIX:NOVN) are betting that Sideris Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s iron chelator program can better the pharma's iron overload drug Exjade deferasirox, as well as a compound from Shire plc (LSE:SHP; NASDAQ:SHPG).

Last week, Sideris raised $32 million in a series A round led by MPM Capital with participation by Hatteras Venture Partners and Osage University Partners. The financing is the fourth-largest series A round