Adimab Scores Second Funding Round in Less Than A Year

3/25/08

A young biotech company founded by a pair of professors from MIT and Dartmouth has closed a Series B financing round co-led by Polaris Venture Partners and SV Life Sciences, just eight months after it closed a $6.2 million Series A round led by the same firms.

Lebanon, NH’s Adimab didn’t disclose the value of the latest deal in its announcement, although CEO Tillman Gerngross told Mass High Tech that the startup’s value had increased by 300 percent between the two funding rounds. In Adimab’s announcement, Gerngross said the new infusion of cash would allow the firm to be aggressive about hiring this year. The firm has also accelerated the development of its technology for soup-to-nuts antibody drug discovery, he said, and by the end of the second quarter should be able to go from a target, or antigen, to a panel of human antibodies in the space of three months.

Adimab is by no means the only player in the game of producing human antibody drug candidates for various ailments. But the firm’s pitch is that its integrated platform—based on yeast science—will let pharma companies sidestep a complicated collection of technologies and royalty and licensing fees usually necessary to get the job done. (For more detail on the strategy, see the In Vivo Blog, which explained it nicely back when Adimab was founded.)

Gerngross told the In Vivo Blog that Adimab is “building a business that will service pharma better than anyone else and one that could very quickly trigger an acquisition.” Gerngross has had some experience in that department—the Dartmouth professor of engineering cofounded GlycoFi, which was acquired by Merck in 2006 for $400 million. And Adimab cofounder Dane Wittrup of MIT previously cofounded Biodisplay, which Abbott Labs bought in 2001 for $7 million.

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