TargAnox Launches with $5.1M Series A Round, Targeting Oxidative Stress to Treat Diseases

3/30/09

In this ugly economy, it takes a special recipe of compelling science and willing investors to launch a new biotech startup. Newly hatched biotech TargAnox, which is focused on developing drugs to curb a sometimes disease-related biochemical condition called oxidative stress, has stirred that recipe together in recent months and closed a $5.1 million Series A round of financing, company officials tell Xconomy.

Ascent Biomedical Ventures in New York led the round, providing the majority of capital. Partners Innovation Fund, the venture arm of the Partners HealthCare System in Boston, invested $250,000 in the financing round and helped draw up the initial business strategy for TargAnox, says Roger Kitterman, acting president of TargAnox. Kitterman is a partner at Partners Innovation Fund, which was formed in 2007 by Partners’ founding medical centers, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

TargAnox is commercializing discoveries from the lab of its scientific founder, Joseph Loscalzo, who is chief of medicine at Brigham and Women’s in Boston. The firm aims to develop drugs—likely biotherapeutics such as antibodies—that protect cells from oxidative stress caused by diseases, Kitterman says.

Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance of reactive oxygen molecules that can harm cells and even cause cellular death. Protecting cells from oxidative stress could provide new treatments for multiple illnesses including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Kitterman says that the company hasn’t yet decided which diseases it will target. “We’re going to … Next Page »

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