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Dermata Secures $10M in Combined Financing for Skin Treatments

Xconomy San Diego — 

[Corrected 2/17/17, 9:41 am to differentiate Silicon Valley Bank’s loan from private investment.] Dermata Therapeutics, a San Diego development-stage biotech advancing new treatments for rosacea, eczema, and related dermatological diseases, said it has secured $5 million in additional funding from private investors and entered into a $5 million credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank.

The company, founded in 2014 by former Santarus CEO Gerald Proehl and San Diego biotech investor David Hale, plans to use the funding for general corporate purposes and to advance Dermata’s line of dermatological drugs. Dermata said it has drugs under development for treating four serious skin diseases: acne rosacea; eczema (atopic dermatitis); acne vulgaris; and ocular rosacea.

Responding to an Xconomy query yesterday, Dermata spokesman Sean Proehl said this morning the $5 million raised from the management team and high net worth individuals has brought total invested capital in the startup to $12 million.

In a statement yesterday, CEO Gerald Proehl said, “We believe this funding strategy will provide us with the necessary capital to complete our two ongoing Phase 2 clinical studies with our lead candidate DMT210 in atopic dermatitis and rosacea.”

Spokesman Sean Proehl said Dermata was founded in 2014 after Gerald Proehl (who is his father) and David Hale in-licensed DMT210 from a company he declined to identify. He described the compound as a small molecule that targets multiple inflammatory pathways, adding, “It could potentially be used in the eye, bladder, and [gastrointestinal] tract, but we’re initially focusing on dermatology.”

As the CEO of Santarus, Proehl oversaw the San Diego specialty drugmaker’s negotiations with Salix Pharmaceuticals when it acquired Santarus for $2.6 billion in 2014. Hale was Santarus chairman at the time.

Dermata said it has received $2.5 million of the Silicon Valley Bank financing. Under terms of their agreement, Dermata will get an additional $2.5 million, subject to meeting certain milestones later this year.