FoldRx Pharma Finds $29M, Plans to Seek Approval of First Drug in 2010

Xconomy Boston — 

FoldRx Pharmaceuticals has rallied new and previous investors to raise $29 million in a round of bridge financing, the company reports today.

The Cambridge, MA-based biotech firm’s new round included new investors Novo Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. Existing investors participating in the round included Alta Partners, Fidelity Biosciences, HealthCare Ventures, Novartis Venture Funds, and TPG Biotechnology. FoldRx previously reported that it raised $43 million in a Series B round of funding in 2006 and $16 million in a Series A round in 2004.

In the second half of 2010, FoldRx plans to file for FDA approval of its lead drug, tafamidis, for a rare neurological disease called TTR amyloid polyneuropathy. The fatal disease, which affects 5,000 to 10,000 people worldwide, damages the nerves and causes sufferers to lose control of how their arms and legs move. FoldRx’s drug targets a misfolded protein from the liver, the result of a genetic mutation that is believed to be the root cause of the disease. Today, liver transplants are the best treatment for the disease, according to the company.

“With the addition of two top-tier venture firms to our already strong investor base, we believe we now have access to the resources necessary to commercialize tafamidis and build FoldRx into an independent, orphan-disease focused company,” Richard Labaudinière, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

FoldRx is also pursuing treatments for other diseases caused by protein deficiencies such as cystic fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease, and TTR amyloid cardiomyopathy.