Sangart Looks to Fund More Human Trials of its Oxygen-Carrying Blood Adjunct

11/17/10Follow @bvbigelow

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incentives to encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop cures for rare diseases. In the case of sickle cell anemia, about 70,000 Americans are affected by the disease, and between 40,000 and 50,000 in Europe.

Roughly $165 million has been invested in Sangart through six rounds to get it this far, O’Callaghan said, with most of the funding coming from New York’s Leucadia National (NYSE: LUK), a diversified holding company. The rest has come from about 100 mostly individual investors.

The company has received about $1.3 million under a Cooperative Research And Development Agreement with the U.S. Navy for development of its MP4OX oxygen therapeutic, and O’Callaghan is hopeful the company can get an additional $15 million to $20 million in similar funding from the military.

The Sangart CEO says he also has been traveling, mostly in the U.S. and primarily to meet with potential investors and corporate partners. “A number of companies have been talking to us in relation to their own corporate strategy,” O’Callaghan said. In the meantime, O’Callaghan says Sangart is currently negotiating its Series G round of venture funding. After the next round of clinical trials are completed, he said, “then we would like to look at our options in terms of proceeding to Phase III trials. We want to keep our options open.”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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