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

12/4/08

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material in umbilical cords after birth—side-stepping the controversy over drawing stem cells from embryos, according to the company.

BioVex — Woburn, MA

BioVex is developing genetically modified viruses to treat cancer and infectious diseases. This spring Luke wrote about the positive results BioVex reported in a mid-stage clinical trial in which its lead drug—a genetically modified herpes simplex virus—partially shrank melanomas in more than a quarter of patients studied. The company hopes to close a major financing next year to fund further development of its treatments.

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals — Watertown, MA

Dicerna has garnered attention in the white hot RNAi field with its next-generation RNAi treatments. The venture-backed company, which says its offers alternative gene-silencing drugs to Alnylam’s and others, is developing drugs that block so-called Dicer enzyme and could be longer-lasting than competing RNAi drugs.

Dyax Pharmaceuticals — Cambridge, MA

Dyax (NASDAQ:DYAX)—a 13-year-old biotech company known for its oft-licensed phage display technology for drug discovery—has its sights set gaining FDA approval of its lead drug, DX-88, for patients with the rare and life-threatening condition hereditary angioedema. Luke caught up with the company this summer after it announced positive results from a late-stage study of DX-88, and I wrote a quick post recently about its financing deal to raise up to $50 million.

EnVivo Pharmaceuticals — Watertown, MA

EnVivo is advancing treatments for nervous-system disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntinton’s disease, and schizophrenia. In October, news broke that venture firm Fidelity Biosciences, based in Cambridge, invested $65 million in EnVivo in a Series D venture financing, buying out EnVivo’s other investors.

EyeGate Pharma — Waltham, MA

EyeGate offers potential relief for those of us who have had needles stuck in our eyes to treat such conditions as dry eye and uveitis. The venture-based company is developing a proprietary delivery technology to administer drugs to the front- and back-surface tissues of the eye—no needle required. We profiled the firm and its non-invasive approach to delivering eye treatments earlier this year.

Idera Pharmaceuticals — Cambridge, MA

Idera is a leading developer of DNA- and RNA-based drugs that target immune-system receptors called Toll-like receptors (TLRs) as a means of treating such ailments as … Next Page »

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