Startup Ra Pharmaceuticals Bags $10.3M Funding

Xconomy Boston — 

Ra Pharmaceuticals has big-named backers and a co-founder of Transkaryotic Therapies (now part of Shire) serving as CEO, but not much else is known about the secretive startup. Yesterday the Boston-based firm reported in an SEC filing that it had raised $10.3 million of a planned $27.6 million round of equity financing.

The company is being incubated at the Boston office of Morgenthaler Ventures, where Morgenthaler entrepreneur-in-residence Doug Treco is leading Ra as its CEO, according to the venture firm’s website. The regulatory filing for the financing does not specify who invested in the company, but it does say that its board of directors includes Treco, Morgenthaler partner Jim Broderick, Novartis Option Fund managing director Lauren Silverman, and New Enterprise Associates partner Ed Mathers. Calls placed to a Treco and Mathers’ office at NEA were not immediately returned this morning.

Doug Treco

Doug Treco

Founded in 2008, according to the filing, Ra Pharmaceuticals appears to have money in the bank and a CEO in Treco who has had considerable success in the difficult drug-development game. Treco co-founded and served as senior VP of research and development of former Cambridge, MA-based Transkaryotic (TKT), which was acquired by Irish drugmaker Shire for $1.6 billion in 2005. He was part of a team at TKT that developed biotech drugs for rare diseases, such as the Hunter syndrome treatment idursulfase (Elaprase), which is now a core product for what has become the Massachusetts-based human genetic therapies unit of Shire.

We’ll try to track down more information on this exciting startup and update this story as needed.