Boston Biotechs Seek Scarce Funds Amid Market Famine at Annual Pitch Event

12/4/08

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slated to present at the investors forum on December 9:

Agile Therapeutics — Princeton, NJ

Agile is developing a contraceptive patch worn on the skin once per week to serve as an alternative to oral birth-control pills. The company last month announced the launch of late-stage clinical trials of its patch, which delivers low doses of the hormones progestin and estrogen to prevent ovulation. (New Jersey-based health care giant Johnson & Johnson makes a similar contraceptive patch, but Agile claims that its patch delivers a lower dose of estrogen, increased levels of which may cause blood clots.)

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NADAQ:ALNY) — Cambridge, MA

Everyone involved in biotech should by now know of Alnylam, a developer of RNA-interference (RNAi) drugs designed to switch on and off certain genes linked to diseases. Alnylam—which has already formed alliances and partnerships with such industry giants as Novartis, Roche, and Takeda potentially worth billions—says it wants to forge four or more additional partnerships in the next two years. (Greg wrote about Alnylam’s potential $1 billion development deal with Japan-based drug maker Takeda earlier this year.)

Alseres Pharmaceuticals — Hopkinton, MA

Alseres (NASDAQ:ALSE) is developing drugs and diagnostics for central nervous system conditions. The company’s lead drug is a protein-based treatment intended to promote nerve repair in patients with spinal chord injuries, and the firm aims to begin late-stage clinical trials of the product next year. This summer we wrote that the company raised $5 million in a convertible debt financing with former director Robert Gipson.

Ascent Therapeutics — Cambridge, MA

I caught up with venture-backed Ascent last month when the previously stealthy firm unveiled its technology and new executive team. Ascent is developing so-called pepducin drugs, which are peptide-based treatments that target cell surface receptors important in cancer, cardiovascular, and inflammatory diseases, among others. The company plans to identify its first pepducin for clinical development next year.

AuxoCell Laboratories — Amesbury, MA

AuxoCell, a regenerative medicine startup founded in January 2008, is new to the local biotech scene. The company is studying treatments based on stem cells taken from a jelly-like … Next Page »

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