With Extra Dose of Cash, Zogenix Raises VC Round to $71M for Launch of Migraine Treatment

Xconomy San Diego — 

San Diego-based Zogenix got a $20 million vote of confidence for the anticipated launch next month of its needle-free, drug-and-device delivery system for migraine and cluster headaches.

Zogenix, which announced in September that it had closed on a $51 million Series B round of venture funding, says it extended the round to accommodate an additional $20 million in a second tranche investment made by Chicago Growth Partners. In connection with the financing, Arda Minocherhomjee of Chicago Growth Partners also joins the board at Zogenix.

Zogenix was founded in 2006 as a specialty pharmaceutical with the goal of incorporating innovative technologies to differentiate its medical therapies for central nervous system and pain disorders. The company’s lead drug-device, which was approved by the FDA in July, enables patients to self-administer an injection just the under the skin of sumatriptan, the fastest-acting migraine medicine. The device, which contains a pre-filled, 6-milligram dose of sumatriptan, is intended to deliver the pain reliever in the abdomen or thigh. “We believe it has the potential to be used as a replacement for other injectable forms of sumatriptan and also as a faster acting, more efficacious alternative to tablet and nasal triptans,” Zogenix says on its website.

The company says the $71 million raised in its second venture round will be used to support the market introduction of its product in January. Zogenix says a new investor, Oxford Finance Corp., as well as existing investors Clarus Ventures, Domain Associates, Scale Venture Partners, Thomas, McNerney & Partners, and Abingworth Management, participated in the round.

Zogenix says it also is advancing its product pipeline and has been approaching other biopharmaceutical companies about licensing its proprietary needle-free “DosePro” technology. But the company also has work going on with conventional oral pills. The company says it is preparing to enter a late-stage clinical trial of ZX002, which is the next drug candidate in its development pipeline. The oral drug is a novel, long-lasting formulation of hydrocodone without acetaminophen for the treatment of chronic pain, and uses Elan Pharma’s proprietary Spheroidal Oral Drug Absorption System (SODAS).