Taligen Collects $10M For Focus on Rare Diseases

Xconomy Boston — 

Taligen Therapeutics wants to apply its technology platform to treat rare diseases in which the immune system goes haywire and attacks healthy cells. The Cambridge, MA-based biotech startup says it has received $10 million from its investors to drive its first drug toward initial human studies against a rare autoimmune disease.

The new funding brings the total amount of the firm’s Series B funding round to $36 million. The latest $10 million installment came from Taligen’s previous investors Alta Partners, Clarus Ventures, High Country Venture, and Sanderling Ventures, according to the company. The first closing of the second-round financing was revealed in February 2008, when the company said investors committed to put in as much as $65 million in separate chunks if the firm met certain development goals.

Taligen CEO Abbie Celniker says the company got the money because it made it made “substantial progress” over the past year that enabled it to advance close to its first clinical trial.

The company, founded in 2004 with technology from the University of Colorado, has been developing protein drugs that target an immune reaction called the complement pathway. Its lead drug, TT30, prevents overactive complement reactions in certain diseases by replacing defective proteins. While the drug has the potential to treat a number of immune and inflammatory diseases, the company has decided to focus initially on rare diseases where there’s less competition such as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), which affects one in 500,000 Americans, and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).

A potential advantage of Taligen’s drugs over existing treatments is that they aim to … Next Page »

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