A123Systems Founder and MIT’s Cima Behind Startup Entra Pharmaceuticals
More clues about stealthy drug-delivery startup Entra Pharmaceuticals surfaced yesterday on Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner’s blog. It turns out that the technical whizzes behind Entra are Yet-Ming Chiang, an MIT engineering professor and founder of Watertown, MA-based advanced battery developer A123Systems, and Michael Cima, another MIT engineering professor, who is a co-founder of life sciences firms such as drug-delivery and biosensing company MicroCHIPS and mystery startup Certus Biomedical.
Kirsner does a nice job piecing together what’s brewing at Entra. True to the two founders’ backgrounds, Entra is developing a drug-delivery device that involves electronics, Kirsner writes. Cima tells him that he calls the device the “patch pump,” and it’s intended to be an inexpensive and disposable product. Kirsner also learned that the startup, which is operating in incubator space at the Boston University Photonics Center, is developing a drug. But the founders weren’t willing to part with details such as which specific disease or diseases the drug and device are intended to treat (other than telling Kirsner that diabetes isn’t one of them.)
It was widely reported in December that Entra had landed $4.2 million in a Series A round of financing from Boston venture firm Flybridge Capital Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners in Waltham, MA, and that the round could swell to $12.5 million this year if the startup reaches certain goals. Flybridge general partner Michael Greeley and North Bridge’s Jeffrey McCarthy are on the board at Entra, according to Kirsner. The startup has also hired a team of executives, including Frank Bobe, a former chief business officer at Alseres Pharmaceuticals, to be its CEO.