Roundup: Capital Royalty, Rebellion, Aeglea, PeopleAnswers

1/10/14Follow @angelashah

New funding and an acquisition round out the news this week for Xconomy Texas:

Houston-based Capital Royalty announced Friday it had agreed to provide Biodesix up to $20 million through a structured debt financing. The Boulder, CO-based biotech company will use the money for ongoing development and marketing of VeriStrat, a serum protein test that helps physicians guide therapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Last month, Biodesix, which was founded in 2005, announced it had closed on an $8.3 million Series E equity financing.

Rebellion Photonics, a Houston cleantech startup, announced Thursday that it closed on $10.4 million in Series A funds. Tinicum, a private investment firm with offices in New York and San Francisco, served as main investor. Rebellion said in a press release that it will use the funds to market its real-time hyperspectral camera, which can detect poisonous or potentially explosive gas leaks from oil refineries or rigs. Rebellion, which won The Wall Street Journal’s “Startup of the Year” contest in the fall—and earned a Twitter endorsement from MC Hammer—was founded in 2010 by two Rice University graduate students, Allison Sawyer and Robert Kester.

Aeglea BioTherapeutics completed a $12 million funding round Wednesday, the Austin Business Journal reported. The Austin-based biotech firm will use the proceeds for their research into novel enzymes that degrade naturally occurring amino acids, which tumors need to survive. This degradation, in effect, starves the tumor, the company says. David Lowe, its CEO, told the Business Journal the firm is working with University of Texas researcher George Georgiou to boost its effectiveness by administering the treatment intravenously. Aeglea plans to start producing its lead molecule and begin work for the first place of clinical trials in the next 18 months.

Dallas-based PeopleAnswers, a maker of cloud-based software to help employers better spot talent among job candidates, has been acquired by Infor, an enterprise software firm based in New York, according to a press release. The Texas firm has a “talent analytics” platform that analyzes 39 behavioral traits—including ambition, discipline, and attention to detail—and then rates candidates. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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