HemaQuest Gets $13M Transfusion in Extension of Series B Financing

Xconomy San Diego — 

San Diego-based HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals, a biotech developing small molecule drugs for treating sickle cell disease and other blood disorders, has gotten another capital transfusion after once again extending its Series B financing.

In a statement today, HemaQuest says it has raised an additional $13 million to support a mid-stage trial of the company’s lead drug candidate for patients with sickle cell disease. That’s almost equal to the $16 million HemaQuest previously raised in three separate steps of its Series B financing. The participating investors are Aberdare Ventures, De Novo Ventures, Forward Ventures, Latterell Venture Partners, and Lilly Ventures.

HemaQuest was founded in Seattle in 2007, and moved its headquarters to San Diego in late 2010 after hiring former Favrille CEO John Longenecker.

HemaQuest says its most recent extension should enable the company to complete a planned Phase 2b trial of its lead drug candidate by early 2014. The experimental drug, HQK-1001, belongs to a class of compounds known as Short Chain Fatty Acid Derivatives (SCFADs) that have been shown to stimulate fetal hemoglobin expression and red blood cell production in the laboratory.