San Diego-based Axikin Pharmaceuticals has reeled in $3 million in a first round of venture financing to advance its young pipeline of drugs to treat respiratory and inflammatory diseases. The investors are Sanderling Ventures, which has offices in San Diego and San Mateo, CA, and Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners in New York, according to a company announcement.
Axikin was spun out from San Diego-based Actimis Pharmaceuticals in June 2008, when the latter company agreed to sell its lead experimental asthma drug to German drug-maker Boehringer Ingetheim in a structured buyout valued at $515 million.
Like Actimis, Axikin is developing small molecule drugs to treat respiratory disorders such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Yet Axikin says that its molecules could have broader applications in inflammatory diseases like inflammatory dermatoses, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as in cancer.
Axikin President Kevin Bacon says in a statement that the company plans to ask the FDA for permission to begin its first human clinical trial in the “very near future.” He did not identify which drug is its leading candidate.