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Zurex Pharma’s Antimicrobial Attracts $6.2M for Clinical Trial

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Zurex Pharma, which is developing antimicrobial products for healthcare-associated infections, has raised more than $6.2 million in equity funding, according to a regulatory filing that was made public on Thursday.

In a press release, Middleton, WI-based Zurex said the money is an “initial close of a Series C financing,” and will be used in part to support a late-stage clinical trial of its lead product candidate, ZuraPrep, a pre-surgical skin preparation. This particular investment could top out at $8 million, according to the filing.

Zurex said that some of the 26 participating investors had backed the company previously, while others were first-time investors.

The latest funding brings the total amount Zurex has raised since 2012 to more than $16 million, SEC documents show. About two years ago, the company raised $4.1 million in a Series B round, which followed a $6.2 million Series A in 2012.

Reached by phone, a spokeswoman for Zurex declined to comment on the financing beyond the information in the press release. She referred questions to Zurex president and CEO Carmine Durham, who she said is on vacation until Aug. 16.

The company says the candidates it’s developing are designed to prevent or minimize infections acquired in hospitals, clinics, and home care settings. A 2009 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the direct cost of hospital-associated infections was at least $28 billion annually.

Zurex was spun out of Ash Access Technology in 2010. Durham was previously vice president of corporate development and commercial strategy at Ash, which is based in Lafayette, IN, and has an office in Madison, WI. Ash is developing antimicrobial therapies, as well as products targeting catheter-related bloodstream infections and poor blood flow. The latter two conditions are associated with catheter use, according to Ash’s website.

Ash Access Technology, which was originally called Ash Medical Systems but changed its name in 2003, was co-founded in 1983 by Stephen Ash and Robert Truitt. Truitt is a member of Zurex’s board of directors, according to the regulatory filing. On his LinkedIn profile, he lists himself as Zurex’s chairman.

Zurex operates a subsidiary of its own, Zurex PharmAgra. That organization sells treatments developed using Zurex Pharma’s antimicrobial platform to groups in the agricultural and veterinary industries. One of Zurex PharmAgra’s products, ZuraLac, is a sanitizing and moisturizing treatment that the company says protects cow teats from bacteria.