Taligen Raises $26M For Inflammation Drugs

5/12/09Follow @xconomy

Taligen Therapeutics, the Cambridge, MA-based developer of drugs for inflammatory diseases, has raised $26 million out of a $65 million financing round, according to a regulatory filing.

The investors in the company weren’t named in the document, although Nick Galakatos of Clarus Ventures, Ed Hurwitz of Alta Partners, and Timothy Mills of Sanderling Ventures are listed as directors. All three firms are listed on Taligen’s website as previous investors. CEO Abbie Celniker didn’t respond immediately to an e-mail request for comment.

Celniker held senior R&D posts at Genentech, Wyeth, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and Novartis before she came to Taligen last summer. The company, as she explained to me in an interview last August, is developing drugs for inflammatory diseases that work in a new way, by controlling the “alternative complement pathway”-a part of the immune system that helps initiate and amplify inflammation. The approach is different than that of other protein drugs that work further “downstream” in the chain of inflammatory events, like Amgen’s arthritis drug etanercept (Enbrel) or Biogen Idec and Elan’s multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease treatment, natalizumab (Tysabri), she says. Intervening earlier in the complicated cascade of events, the reasoning goes, could better control inflammation.

Taligen was founded in 2004 by Woodruff Emlen and Michael Holers, professors at the University of Colorado. Taligen moved its corporate headquarters from Aurora, CO, to Cambridge last July when Celniker joined the company.

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