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West Coast Biotech Roundup: ARCH, Ebola, ViaCyte, Calithera & More

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lead drug candidate, a reformulation of pirfenidone as an aerosol for treating pulmonary fibrosis. Founded in 2011, Genoa raised about $1.1 million in debt financing in 2012, according to a regulatory filing.

—Armetheon of Menlo Park, CA, said Thursday it has raised a $7 million Series A round of funding to help move its oral anticoagulant Tecarfarin into a pivotal trial. AshHill Biomedical Investments and Hercules Bioventures led the round with participation from Atheneos Capital and Impax Laboratories founder Larry Hsu. The company wants to file for marketing approval in 2017.

—The San Diego-based Gary and Mary West Health Investment Fund was a lead investor in a $25 million investment round for San Antonio, TX-based AirStrip, a healthtech company that has integrated its mobile health and IT technology with Qualcomm Life’s 2net wireless platform. Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) also invested in the round, along with Sequoia Capital, the Wellcome Trust, Hospital Corp of America (NYSE: HCA), Leerink Capital, Dignity Health, and St. Joseph’s Health System. AirStrip CEO Alan Portela, who keeps an office in San Diego, said AirStrip provides software as a service to more than 350 hospitals, and has an additional 200 under contract.

—Hera Therapeutics, a two-year-old startup incubating at the Janssen Innovation Lab in San Diego, has identified a small molecule that appears to prevent several subtypes of the human papillomavirus (HPV) from replicating—including the two subtypes that cause most cases of cervical cancer. Founder Karl Hostetler, a UC San Diego emeritus professor of medicine who has founded several anti-viral startups, said Hera plans to advance the compound as a topical treatment applied to the skin.

—Tech accelerator StartX of Palo Alto, CA and the University of California-affiliated QB3 have jointly opened a 2,000-square-foot biotech lab for startups participating in the StartX Med program. With room for 20 scientists at once, it’s one of several bio-incubators in the Bay Area catering to tiny biotech startups in need of cheap, flexible research space. The lab will also rent space to entrepreneurs not affiliated with the program, most likely those spinning out work from nearby Stanford University.

—More incubator news: Medical product developers John Weis and Paul DiPerna have opened a space for new medical diagnostics technologies and devices as part Foundry Medical Innovations, a Carlsbad, CA-based firm that provides product development services. DiPerna was a founder and the former chief technology officer at San Diego’s Tandem Diabetes Care (NASDAQ: TNDM). Weis was previously general manager of Symbient Product Development.

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