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

12/4/08

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hepatitis C and cancer. CEO Agrawal told me that his firm’s approach to modulate the receptors offers greater specificity than those of other firms that target TLRs. He adds that the company plans to continue to generate revenue through partnerships with pharma partners such as Novartis, U.S.-based Merck and Germany-based Merck.

In Silico Biosciences — (Virtual)

In Silico—which has provided contract research services for nervous-system-drug discovery since 1999—says it has identified a potential schizophrenia treatment that could be more effective than popular drug clozapine. The firm says it wants to raise $36 million to fund the project through mid-stage clinical trials.

Logical Therapeutics — Waltham, MA

Logical moved to the Bay State from Pittsburg last year after closing a $30 million second round of venture financing, with plans to develop a novel treatment for inflammation. Rebecca caught up to the crew at Logical at their new digs in Waltham late last year and wrote about the multibillion-dollar market the firm is aiming for with its novel form of naproxen, designed to reduce gastrointestinal side effects of traditional naproxen treatments.

Oscient Pharmaceuticals — Waltham, MA

Uniquely among presenters at the forum, Oscient (NASDAQ:OSCI) has two products on the market. The company sells fenofibrate (Antara) for high cholesterol and gemifloxacin mesylate (Factive), an antibiotic for bronchitis and certain forms of bronchitis. The company, which has yet to reach profitability, is seeking a convertible debt financing to raise funds.

Targanta Therapeutics — Cambridge, MA

Targanta CEO Market Leuchtenberger—who is also chairman of the MBC—is expecting to get word from the FDA on the company’s (NASDAQ:TARG) application for approval of antibiotic oritavancin on the day before the investors’ forum. The company’s stock took a hit late last month after an FDA panel voted narrowly in favor of not recommending the company’s antibiotic for approval to treat skin infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bugs.

Targeted Cell Therapies — Worcester, MA

Targeted Cell Therapies is developing technology to enable oral delivery of protein-based drugs, which are typically injected because of an inability of such treatments to clear the digestive system intact. The company’s lead drug is an oral drug for Gaucher disease, a rare lysosomal-storage disorder typically treated with Cambridge-based biotech firm Genzyme’s (NASDAQ:GENZ) imiglucerase (Cerezyme) injections.

Wolfe Laboratories — Watertown, MA

Wolfe is a CRO that says it’s seeking a $10 million investment to double its current space, triple its staff, and increase revenue by eight fold.

Ziopharm Oncology — New York, NY

Ziopharm (NASDAQ:ZIOP), which has R&D operations in Boston, is a developer of cancer treatments. The company has three molecules in clinical trials for the treatment of soft tissue tumors as well as liver and blood cancers.

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