San Diego-based CoDa Therapeutics isn’t the biggest name in the local diabetes R&D business, but today it has reloaded with a sizable amount of cash to test its idea for treating a common complication of the disease.
CoDa, which also has operations in Auckland, New Zealand, said today it has secured a $19 million Series B round of venture financing from its existing investors—Domain Associates, GBS Venture Partners, and BioPacificVentures. The company said it expects to beef up the B round with more money, from more investors, at an unspecified later date. CoDa, founded in 2005, previously raised $20 million in a two-part Series A venture round that closed in February 2007.
Investors are betting on a new approach CoDa has been developing to help with wound healing, specifically for venous leg wounds and for diabetic patients with foot ulcers. The company’s lead drug, which it calls Nexagon, is a topically administered treatment designed to stop overproduction of a protein called connexin43 that is thought to be a culprit in chronic, poorly healing wounds. CoDa says that more than 500,000 patients in the U.S. suffer from venous leg ulcers each year, which adds up to 2 million lost work days and about $3 billion in treatment costs as some wounds take as long as a year to heal.
The CoDa drug has already passed one mid-stage clinical trial which enrolled about 98 patients, and was first announced last May. The study found that about one-third of patients on the CoDa treatment healed within four weeks, compared with 6 percent who got a placebo. CoDa says it plans to use the new venture capital to run large, mid-stage trial to confirm the result at multiple medical centers in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.
CoDa has a few well-known names on its board. The group includes Jim Blair of Domain; Geoff Brooke of GBS; Ted Greene, the co-founder of Amylin Pharmaceuticals; James Mervis, the co-founder of Cardiokine; Colin Green, the scientific co-founder from the University of Auckland, and Peter Thompson, the co-founder of Trubion Pharmaceuticals. The company is led by CEO Bradford Duft.
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