Domain-Rusnano Partnership Invests $93 Million in Three Biotechs

Xconomy San Diego — 

Last March, life sciences venture firm Domain Associates and Russia’s state-owned Rusnano announced that they will jointly invest as much as $760 million in biotech. Today the partnership announced it is putting $93 million of that money into three Domain portfolio companies, bringing to four the number of deals they’ve done so far.

Marinus Pharmaceuticals of Branford, CT, will receive $21m; Lithera in San Diego will get $20.6 million; and Regado Biosciences, based in Basking Ridge, NJ, will receive $51 million. All three have drugs in clinical trials, and Domain and Rusnano said in a joint press release that the funds will be used to register the drugs and continue testing them in the U.S. and Russia. In addition, intellectual property rights to the drugs in Russia and other members of Russia’s Commonwealth of Independent States will be transferred to NovaMedica, a Moscow-based pharmaceutical company formed to manufacture and distribute drugs produced from the partnership in Russia.

As Bruce Bigelow wrote in Xconomy in March, the agreement between Domain and Rusnano calls for the two to invest on a 50-50 basis “in roughly 20 U.S. life sciences companies developing a host of new drugs, medical devices, and diagnostic technologies. Most of the investments would provide crucial late-stage funding for companies already in Domain’s portfolio, although Domain would present Rusnano with investment opportunities in a few early stage deals as well.”

The partnership made its first deal in July, investing $20 million in another Domain company, San Diego based CoDa Therapeutics. In today’s press release, Brian Dovey, partner in Princeton, NJ-based Domain, said that “in today’s challenging investment environment, this is benefiting Domain’s portfolio companies and moving products closer to market.”